Wells Fargo puts AI into mobile app to help customers manage their money

Wells Fargo adds AI enhancement to mobile app, giving personalized account insights to customers nationwide — Wells Fargo — “Insights range from flagging higher-than-normal automatic monthly payments so that customers may look into a change to a reoccurring bill, to reminding a customer to transfer money from savings to a checking account to avoid a possible upcoming overdraft… Currently there are over 50 different prompts a customer can receive based on past and expected future account activity, with plans to continue adding new insights regularly. The feature will expand to small business and credit card customers later this year.” 


Apple CEO: Mobile payments taking off more slowly than expected

Apple’s Tim Cook dishes on taxes and the demise of money — Cnet — “In October 2016, Cook said Apple was going to kill cash. But Tuesday, he sounded less sure that it would happen anytime soon. ‘I’m hoping that I’m still going to be alive to see the elimination of money,’ Cook said during the shareholder meeting. ‘Mobile payments have taken off slower than I personally would have thought if you asked me sitting here a few years ago.’” 


Microsoft sets out vision for a blockchain-based infrastructure that lets consumers manage their own digital identities

Decentralized digital identities and blockchain — The future as we see it — Microsoft — “The world is undergoing a global digital transformation where digital and physical reality are blurring into a single integrated modern way of living. This new world needs a new model for digital identity… We believe it is essential for individuals to own and control all elements of their digital identity… This self-owned identity must be easy to use and give us complete control over how our identity data is accessed and used.” 


Australia’s next generation payments platform goes live

Australia’s new payments platform goes live — ITNews — “The NPP [New Payments Platform] works like a ‘secure set of rails’ between banks so they can send payment messages in real time to each other via the Reserve Bank. The platform allows services to run on top of the NPP — like Bpay’s Osko, which is the first so-called overlay service to arrive on the platform. Osko lets consumers transfer money to someone via their mobile phone number or email address in real-time, 24/7. It also enables them to send a 280-character description with their payment.” 


Walmart adds Store Assistant mode to mobile shopping app

Your shopping trip just got easier with this new store assistant — Walmart — “Next time you visit your local store and open the app, you’ll notice that the Walmart app transforms into Store Assistant. All of the tools you need to make shopping fast and easy, such as Walmart Pay, will be right at your fingertips. We’ve also made the product search bar and the scanner easier to find, so you can quickly read reviews, find items in store and double-check prices.” 


E-ZPass lets drivers use their toll pass to make purchases from their car

Verdeva’s PayByCar makes in-vehicle payment simple with unprecedented E-ZPass deal — Verdeva — “Anybody who has an E-ZPass transponder in their car can enroll in PayByCar and be able to drive up and pay without ever reaching for their wallet… When a member drives up to a participating retailer, PayByCar recognizes the toll transponder on the car and the presence of the driver’s cell phone. It authorizes and automates payment using the member’s chosen method for Verdeva non-tolling transactions, which is on file with PayByCar, and offers personalized rewards.” 


Thai temple takes donations via QR codes

Temple goes digital with QR payment for donations — Bangkok Post — “It is hoped use of the system will solve the headache caused by thefts of money from donation boxes and ensure transparency in the handling of donations through the use of e-banking… When a donation is made using QR code an alert is sent to temple monks and laymen via a mobile app.” 


Google to bring payments to Android Messages texting app?

Android Messages v2.9 prepares to launch Allo-like web interface, Google-enhanced chat features, and payments to businesses [APK Teardown] — Android Police — “Some new text in the app indicates that Google is going to angle Android Messages to also support purchases. The theme of the new strings is fairly unmistakable, including common consumer terms like ‘checkout and ‘order summary’. Another key clue is the activity where these are displayed, which is named messaging.ui.businesspayments.PaymentsSummaryActivity.” 


Face recognition to be supported by more than a billion smartphones in 2020

More than one billion smartphones to feature facial recognition in 2020 — Counterpoint Research — “The diffusion of facial recognition technology into lower tier price bands will be faster than any other flagship feature due to 2D facial recognition being native on the Android platform… In future, Counterpoint Research expects mobile devices will combine biometric sensors for the face, iris, voice and fingerprints. Rather than competing against each other, each biometric technology will be layered on top of each other with the most convenient and least intrusive being selected on an application by application basis.” 


Hong Kong banks to offer QR payments to 18m debit card holders

Jetco Pay adds new merchant payment service supported by eight banks — Jetco — “Jetco today announced the launch of Jetco Pay Merchant Payment service jointly with eight banks, including Bank of Communications (Hong Kong), Bank of East Asia, Chong Hing Bank, Dah Sing Bank, ICBC (Asia), OCBC Wing Hang Bank, Shanghai Commercial Bank and Wing Lung Bank. The service allows consumers to make in-store QR code payment easily, while in-app or online payments can be completed quickly and securely by inputting only their mobile phone number. The fact that the service is linked to the bank account also means that consumers do not have to worry about topping up.” 


Hong Kong bank adds finger vein biometrics to ATMs

Hong Kong lender banking on finger veins being better than faces for ATM security — South China Morning Post — “Bosses at Bank of China Hong Kong said on Tuesday they expected to bring finger vein identification to all of the company’s ATMs across the city, claiming the feature to be more secure than facial recognition. The bank – the first to use the new technology in the city – had already extended it to a third of its cash machines by last month.” 


Alipay parent Ant Financial to go public at a $100bn valuation?

China’s Ant plans equity fundraising at potential $100 billion valuation — Reuters — “China’s Ant Financial Services Group is planning to raise up to US$5bn (£3.59bn) in fresh equity that could value the online payments giant at more than US$100bn… A fundraising would bring Ant, in which e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is taking a one-third stake, a step closer to a hotly anticipated initial public offering.” 


Apple Pay runs first promo to work both online and in-app

Apple offering Valentine’s Day discount for Apple Pay purchases via 1-800-Flowers — 9To5Mac — “Apple is giving users a $15 discount at the merchant when checking out with Apple Pay. This offer is valid online, or through the app, making it the first Apple Pay promo to be available both in-app and online… Apple has been offering weekly in-app Apple Pay discounts as it looks to push more users to try out the payment method. Last week, Apple offered Under Armour users discounts when checking out with Apple Pay. Previous weeks have offered discounts for Dunkin’ Donuts users, the Goat sneaker app, and SpotHero parking.” 


WhatsApp Payments enters beta testing in India

WhatsApp Payments is almost here, shows up on WhatsApp Beta — Gizmo Times — “The latest WhatsApp beta version has started showing the Payment option in the attachments list. The payments will be through UPI (Unified Payments Interface) but for now, it is only showing the list of banks and also the bank account that is linked, but the account is not getting added. This indicates the final stage of inclusion of WhatsApp payments system on the Android app.” 


Samsung partners with Grab for mobile payments in south-east Asia

Grab and Samsung sign MOU to drive digital inclusion in south-east Asia — Samsung — “Grab and Samsung will work together on a wide range of initiatives to bring the benefits of technology, such as enhanced customer experiences and improved income opportunities, to millions of consumers and Grab driver-partners across south-east Asia… The two companies will also work together to expand into south-east Asia’s fragmented mobile payments ecosystem and provide a mobile payments solution that will serve the needs of consumers in south-east Asia.” 


Garmin picks NXP chip for wearable payments

NXP and Garmin team up to bring secure and convenient NFC mobile payments to new fitness wearables — NXP — PARTNER NEWS — “[Garmin] has chosen NXP’s PN80T embedded secure element and NFC solution… ‘In collaborating with NXP, we can better provide the ultimate on-the-go lifestyle to our customers,’ said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. ‘This technology, featured on the Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645 Music, enables customers to leave their cash and credit cards at home and securely make purchases where NFC payments are accepted.’” 


Apple to accept Alipay mobile payments at its stores in China

Apple brings Alibaba-linked payment system into China stores amid market push — Reuters — “The tie-up will make Alipay, run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, the first third-party mobile payment system to be accepted at any physical Apple store worldwide… The Cupertino-based firm will accept Alipay payment across its 41 brick-and-mortar retail stores in China.” 


Line Pay tops mobile payments adoption poll in Taiwan

Line Pay top mobile payment system in Taiwan: Survey — Focus Taiwan — “25.2% of respondents who used mobile payment systems favoured Line Pay, ahead of Apple Pay provided by Apple Inc which was used by 17.9% of those surveyed. The survey found Jko Pay provided by Taiwan’s Jkos Network Co came in third, taking a 10.9% share, followed by Android Pay operated by Google Inc with 9.9% share, and E Sun Wallet provided by E Sun Commercial Bank with 5.2%.” 


Nets to use taxi drivers to recruit new mobile payments merchants

Nets roping in 15,000 cabbies to nudge hawkers to go cashless — The Straits Times — “To coax hawkers to go cashless, e-payment giant Nets is going to enlist the help of an unconventional army: ComfortDelGro’s 15,000 cabbies. The cabbies will get a ‘monetary reward’ for every hawker they get to sign up to use the Nets QR code system… This Hawker Champion programme is now being tested by 100 cabbies, and will be rolled out to the full fleet in the next few months. The tie-up will help hasten the national effort to get more transactions to go cashless.” 


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