NFC mobile payments roll out in Saudi Arabia

Visa and Saudi Mada partner to launch new mobile-based application, Mada Pay — Zawya — “Mada Pay is an Android-based mobile application that enables cardholders to make fast, easy and secure contactless mobile payments at NFC-enabled merchants throughout Saudi and abroad with KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia]-issued Visa cards (credit and prepaid). Visa and Mada co-badged (debit and prepaid) cards can also be used with Mada Pay.” 


VTB switches on Huawei Pay at retail outlets across Russia

VTB begins accepting Huawei Pay in its network of POS terminals — VTB Bank (translation) — “To start using the service, the customer must be the owner of a China UnionPay card and a Huawei or Honor mobile phone that supports contactless payment technology… VTB’s POS terminal network has more than 180,000 devices. Contactless cards and mobile payment services are accepted by the absolute majority of terminals.” 


P2P payments gain acceptance across all US age groups

US consumers cite trust in banks and in friends and family — Early Warning — “More than 75% of Millennials have used online or mobile P2P payments. Generation X is a close second at 69%, and Baby Boomers are closing in at 51%… 49% of Millennials use P2P payment services at least once a week, followed by 42% of Generation X and 32% of Boomers.” 


Mastercard and Worldpay to let merchants accept payments direct from customers’ bank accounts

Worldpay and Mastercard to enter new global partnership focused on innovating payments — Worldpay — “Under the partnership, Worldpay will offer the ‘Pay by Bank’ app — a new way to pay — to merchants in the UK starting in early 2019. Created by Mastercard’s Vocalink business, the ‘Pay by Bank’ app enables customers of UK businesses to make online payments for goods and services via their banking app, and directly from their bank account.” 


Russian banks roll out mobile P2P payments

Tinkoff and Sberbank launch P2P money transfers using just a mobile number — Tinkoff Bank — “Tinkoff Bank has launched a joint initiative with Sberbank to allow their customers to make P2P money transfers using a mobile number… Tinkoff Bank is also actively involved in the development of a rapid payment system (SBP), which will allow customers to make instant transfers using other identifiers (such as email address, TIN, SNILS, social network accounts, etc) anywhere and at any time, regardless of the beneficiary bank.” 


Amex files blockchain proof of payment patent

Systems and methods for blockchain based proof of payment — USPTO — “The system may be used to unlock a hotel, rental, or shared economy property door using the card (eg that was used for the payment) to look up proof of payment on a blockchain… In another example, the system may be used to provide ticketless access to venues (eg movie theater, sports event, concert, etc) to a customer… In still another example, the system may enable access control to rental vehicles (eg bike, boat, or car) to a customer in response to swiping the card.” 


Nordic banks to build new payments infrastructure for instant cross-border payments

Banks are building a super-speed money highway in the Nordics — Bloomberg — “The P27 project — so-called for the 27 million people who live in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland — will build on the success of smartphone payment applications that Nordic banks have already created, like Swish in Sweden, Norway’s Vipps, and MobilePay in Denmark… The aim is to make it possible to clear payments and settle accounts within seconds, regardless of currency.” 


Central bank tightens rules on accepting cards and cash in Chinese stores

As China goes increasingly cashless, PBOC says cash payment is still alive — South China Morning Post — “The central bank in China, the world’s largest mobile payment market, is urging individuals and companies to not refuse or discriminate against cash payment… The PBOC said cash should be accepted alongside the debit card at all business outlets, with the exception of e-commerce and unstaffed stores. Businesses have one month from Friday to make necessary adjustments to avoid being investigated for breaches by the authorities.” 


Eight million merchants now accept Paytm QR payments in stores

Tier II and tier III cities are leading the wave of digital payments adoption — Paytm — “We are powering the largest offline payments network with over 8m offline merchant partners who accept payments via the Paytm QR. We have a 3x larger merchant base compared to any card payments network in the country… This has helped us achieve an annual run rate of 5bn transactions and $50bn GTV (Gross Transaction Value).” 


Facebook patent sets out how AIs could accept Messenger payments

Processing payment transactions using artificial intelligence messaging services — USPTO — “One or more embodiments use natural language processing to analyze messages from the user to the messaging bot, and from the messaging bot to the user, to identify a product and a request to purchase the identified product. Based on the identified product and the request to purchase the product, one or more embodiments initiate a payment transaction on behalf of the user based on a natural language conversation and without redirecting the user away from the communications session.” 


Uber to let customers use Venmo to share costs with friends

Uber and Venmo partner to deliver a new payment experience — PayPal — “Uber customers in the United States ordering rides and food will soon be able to pay with their Venmo balance, linked bank account, credit card or debit card so they can easily split the cost with friends and family in the Venmo app, for no additional fee. Users can also share their purchases in their Venmo feed with custom emojis that are exclusive to the partnership, with Uber as the first company to have a branded emoji in the app.” 


Seoul moves forward with plans for its own S-Pay payments system

Seoul to launch its own mobile payment platform: Report — ZDNet — “The municipal government has formed a task force that will work to launch the service, tentatively called S-Pay, which aims to improve payment convenience for citizens and small businesses. The task force will aim to build the system for the platform and cooperate with banks as well as find partnered small businesses… The aim is to lessen commissions paid by businesses when they use credit cards. S-Pay’s system won’t go through credit card companies’ systems.” 


Grab unveils plan to turn its mobile wallet into a platform

Grab unveils open platform strategy to build Southeast Asia’s first everyday superapp — Grab — “Grab today announced GrabPlatform, as part of its open platform strategy to build Southeast Asia’s first everyday superapp. Grab will add more highly used everyday services to the Grab app, together with best-in-class partners, who can use GrabPlatform to integrate their services with Grab. … In the span of five months (Jan-May 2018), Grab Financial’s total payment volume more than doubled. It is now the leading mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia.” 


WeChat Pay ‘will not seek to offer more local payment wallets’

WeChat Pay to keep overseas focus on outbound tourism instead of offering more local wallets — South China Morning Post — “Tencent’s WeChat Pay said it will not seek to offer more local payment wallets to overseas customers over the next three years and will remain focused on serving outbound Chinese tourists better in popular overseas destinations… ‘In mainland China we have millions of users so we can make WeChat Pay into a successful payments tool… We don’t have many WeChat users in overseas countries so we should accept that it will be hard to develop payment tools for them.’” 


Major League Baseball stadiums to introduce biometric payments and ticketing

No more tickets? MLB fans will soon use fingerprints, facial recognition instead — Fox Business — “A tap of the finger will soon replace traditional tickets at baseball stadiums across the country… A pilot program will arrive at select venues later this season… The platform will expand to point-of-sale systems and possibly more teams… Fans will be able to pay for food and validate their age for alcohol purchases using their fingerprint.” 


Marriott to let Chinese guests use face recognition to check in to its hotels

Joint venture of Alibaba Group and Marriott International trials facial recognition check-in technology — Marriott International — “The pilot will kick off from July 2018 at two Marriott International properties in China — Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang and Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay, with the goal of global rollout across Marriott International’s properties in the future… Chinese guests simply need to scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on a self-help machine. The intelligent device will then dispense room key cards after identities and booking information are verified.” 


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