US to open up banking market to non-banks?

US regulator says time to review mixing banking with other businesses — Reuters — “US regulations that bar companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc from providing banking services need to be reviewed as they reduce competition thereby concentrating more risk among a smaller number of banks, a US banking regulator said… Noreika on Wednesday said that allowing non-financial companies to run banks could strengthen the banking system by boosting competition and increasing diversity. The OCC is exploring providing a charter specifically for financial technology providers such as payment processor Square Inc.” 


Indian government sets out plans to make digital payments ‘visibly cheaper’ than cash

Govt to incentivise online payments to push digital transactions — Hindustan Times — “The incentives could include cashbacks and reward points for BHIM users… The note presented last week by the ministry of electronics and information technology to Parliament’s standing committee on finance detailed a five-step road map to push e-transactions. ‘Digital payments to be made visibly cheaper than cash,’ the note said. 



Samsung Pay reports 2.5m users in India

Samsung Pay service reaches 2.5 million users in India — Android Headlines — “Samsung Pay reached 2.5 million users in India, one million more than it had in mid-September, a company official said on Wednesday… Samsung’s service is presently available on 26 devices in India, up from ten when it officially debuted in the country in early 2017. It’s currently supported by ten banks and seven more local card issuers.” 


Apple Pay Cash goes live in latest iOS and watchOS public beta releases

Apple Pay Cash now available in beta on iOS 11.2 and watchOS 4.2 — 9to5Mac — “The new feature lets you send and receive payments using Apple Pay over iMessage as well as pay in stores with a new Apple Pay Cash virtual debit card… Apple Pay Cash will be available for all customers in the United States when iOS 11.2 and watchOS 4.2 are officially released, and developer and public beta testers can start using the feature today.” 


China UnionPay tests NFC and QR transit payments

Public transport alliances set to boost UnionPay — China Daily — “In the first 19 cities where UnionPay pilot mobile payment applications will be used in public transportation, UnionPay provides users with comprehensive solutions including mobile phone QuickPass, bankcard QuickPass and QR code payment… According to Ge Huayong, president of UnionPay, more than 40 banks now accept UnionPay’s QR code payment transactions and an additional 60 or so banks are testing their systems.” 


Paytm to invest US$1bn in building out its payments business

Paytm plans $1 billion top-up to cash in on note ban success — Times of India — “Sharma said they were looking at a three-pronged strategy to double the number of users in the coming year by converting Paytm users to its payments bank, tap into non-wallet users through UPI and sell financial products from next year. ‘Long ago, we realised that standalone payments as a business is an orphan and thus we are building a bouquet of products,’ Sharma said.” 


USA Technologies to acquire Cantaloupe Systems for US$85m

USA Technologies to acquire Cantaloupe Systems — USA Technologies — PARTNER NEWS — “USA Technologies Inc, a premier payment technology service provider of integrated cashless and mobile transactions in the self-serve retail markets, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cantaloupe Systems Inc, a premier provider of cloud and mobile solutions for vending, micro markets, and office coffee service, in a transaction valued at approximately $85 million.” 


ABI: 160m cards with embedded fingerprint sensors to be shipped by 2022

Biometric payment cards to boost banking industry security — ABI Research — “Fingerprint embedded payment cards will enjoy an impressive growth over the next years reaching 160 million shipments by 2022 with a five-year CAGR standing at approximately 400%. While the Middle East, Africa and North America will be among the first regions geographically in which higher shipments are expected during 2018, forecasts indicate that Europe and Asia Pacific will have a larger penetration rate over the coming years.” 


US Bank to use phone location data to authorize transactions

US Bank adds opt-in location services to mobile app, making life on the go more flexible during the holidays — US Bank — “US Bank has added location services to the US Bank Mobile App, offering US Bank Visa credit and debit card customers technology that uses their phones’ location to help verify whether their mobile devices and credit or debit card are in the same location. By using the mobile device’s location in the authorization decision, US Bank can help give consumers the confidence that their transactions will be approved, minimizing disruptions and further reducing the risk of fraud.” 


Walmart Pay to overtake Apple Pay in the US?

Walmart Pay threatens to surpass Apple in US mobile payments — Bloomberg — “Available in 4,774 stores, Walmart Pay is enrolling tens of thousands of new users a day, up from thousands four or five months ago, said Daniel Eckert, who runs the business. Two-thirds of the customers who try it also use it a second time within 21 days, he said, giving him confidence Walmart Pay will surpass Apple Pay in the US in terms of use by shoppers in stores where they’re accepted.” 


Facebook expands Messenger P2P payments to the UK

Facebook Messenger payments comes to UK — BBC News — “Facebook has chosen the UK as the first country outside the US to get its Messenger payments service… David Marcus, who runs Messenger, says it is obvious from our messages that we need this. ‘More and more people are having conversations on Messenger about paying one another,’ he explains. ‘As a result it’s a very natural place for you to have the most frictionless and secure way of paying each other.'” 


Central bank begins digital currency pilot in Uruguay

Uruguay to launch digital currency, ‘not Bitcoin’ it stresses — Bitcoin.com — “Uruguay’s Central Bank (BCU) formally presented rollout of its pioneering digitization of the Uruguayan peso on 3 November 2017… The plan ‘consists of a test with 10,000 mobile phone users of Antel,’ the release notes, ‘which will last for six months’ and be international… Registered users will be able to interact with merchants as well as peer-to-peer in money exchanges.” 


Facebook tests P2P payments

Facebook may soon test a ‘red envelope’ payments feature — Recode — “Red envelopes are typically used for gift giving, especially for holidays like Chinese New Year, but the ability to gift someone money on Facebook would mean Facebook could also facilitate peer-to-peer payments. The company already offers payments like this in Messenger, but not on Facebook’s main website or app.” 


Australian festival-goers try out NFC ticket implants

Under the skin: How insertable microchips could unlock the future — The Guardian — “Ten volunteers received a microchip at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne on Wednesday to mark the launch of Pause Fest, a technology and culture festival now in its eighth year. Their chips were preloaded with a three-day pass to the festival and will be programmed to unlock the door to their home, gym, or workplace, or potentially to function as their public transport pass.” 


DBS launches developer platform that gives access to 155 banking APIs

Reimagining banking, DBS launches world’s largest banking API developer platform — DBS Bank — “With 155 APIs at launch for Singapore across more than 20 categories such as funds transfers, rewards, PayLah! and real-time payments, the platform will offer the world’s largest number of, and most relevant, banking APIs… More than 50 companies including household names such as AIG, McDonald’s, MSIG, PropertyGuru, as well as start-ups like Activpass, FoodPanda, Homage, and soCash have already hopped onto the platform.” 


Visa to offer real-time payments in Europe

Visa to transform payments in Europe with Visa Direct — a real-time payments platform with global reach — Visa — “With Visa Direct, funds can be transferred into the recipient’s Visa account quickly, conveniently, and securely — providing instant access to funds and the ability to make purchases at 44m retail locations worldwide.” 


EMVCo releases online and in-app transaction security framework

EMVCo launches EMV secure remote commerce technical framework — EMVCo — “EMV SRC will address the complexities and potential vulnerabilities within the remote payments environment by defining a consistent approach to enable the secure transmission and interaction of payment card data among participants. This helps reduce exposure to data compromise and simplify merchant support of these solutions.” 


Visa gives approval to prepaid cryptocurrency card

Visa approves Monaco cryptocurrency card for Singapore residents — Bloomberg — “Visa Inc has approved a prepaid card backed by the cryptocurrency Monaco as the world’s largest payments network continues its foray into digital currencies… Visa has also approved programs for BitPay and Shift Card that allow consumers to convert cryptocurrencies into legal tender and deposit those funds into a bank account that is linked to a Visa debit or prepaid card.” 


Wells Fargo to offer mobile-first bank accounts

Wells Fargo announces a mobile-first banking experience to encourage financial health — Wells Fargo — “Combining personal finance management tools with Wells Fargo banking, the Greenhouse experience will help consumers pay bills on time, spend confidently, and start to build a savings cushion — all while providing personalized insights through artificial intelligence to help them stay on track. Greenhouse, a standalone mobile app, will be available in a limited, national pilot in the first quarter of 2018 and will launch for Apple iPhone users during the first half of 2018.” 


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