Softbank to launch new global digital payments system?

Softbank plots digital payments raid with plans for Paypal rival — City AM — “Japanese technology giant Softbank is planning to create a global digital payments system that could rival giants such as PayPal, according to reports. The tech firm will lead a consortium backed by some of the world’s biggest banks… Under the plan, Softbank could acquire a large financial software business as a springboard to rolling out the new system.” 


US consumers sent $75bn in Zelle P2P payments in 2017

Zelle moves record $75bn in 2017 — Zelle — “In 2017, the US$75bn moved on Zelle, was an increase of 36% year-over-year (YoY) from 2016’s totals of $55bn… The Zelle network processed more than 247m payments in 2017, an increase of more than 45% YoY on the 170m transactions processed in 2016… More than 60 financial institutions are now part of the Zelle network.” 


Samsung Pay goes live in Mexico

Samsung Pay now available in Mexico — Samsung — “To bring this service to Mexico, Samsung strategically partnered with some of the country’s leading financial partners, including payment providers (American Express, MasterCard and Visa); banks (Banorte, Banregio, Citibanamex, HSBC and Santander); and banking acquirers, services and tools such as Clip and iZettle… Samsung Pay’s entry into the Mexican market marks the second Latin American country to receive the service and the 20th market worldwide.” 


Survey finds sales uplift in stores with mobile POS devices

In-store mobile could generate a 146% revenue boost in 2018 — Retail TouchPoints — “Retailers that are deploying in-store mobile POS saw a 24% average increase in sales in 2017 over retailers who don’t implement mobility in-store… Only 34% of retailers have deployed mobile POS, while 42% have armed their employees with mobile devices without a POS platform.” 


Researchers demo continuous user authentication system for smartphones

Russian experts submit ‘impenetrable’ smartphone protection system — Phys.org — “The advantage of the new method by the specialists from MEPhI is continuous protection from outside interference without any additional action by the user… Each person has a unique and inimitable style of handling the phone, and the system is based on identifying these unique characteristics.” 


Samsung to include iris scanning and face recognition combo in Galaxy S9?

Galaxy S9 may feature ‘Intelligent Scan’, a combination of iris scanning and facial recognition — Android Police — “After some digging around in Samsung’s settings app, a developer and AP reader reached out to us about his discovery of something called ‘Intelligent Scan’… It sounds like Intelligent Scan will combine the sometimes-limited information the iris scanner and your front camera can each extract to piece together a fuller picture of whoever is trying to unlock the phone.” 


Starbucks CEO sets sights on blockchain payments

Starbucks’ Schultz: Blockchain and digital currencies are bringing us into a new age — Yahoo Finance — “I believe that we are heading into a new age, in which blockchain technology is going to provide a significant level of a digital currency that is going to have a consumer application… We think we have something to offer the companies that are chasing this because we are in a position to create the trusted legitimate place in which this could be accepted and possibly take advantage of the mobile payment digital platform that we have created.” 


China’s central bank sets out digital currency plans

PBOC official pushes for centralized state digital currency — Coindesk — “Unlike most cryptocurrencies, the CBDC [Central Bank Digital Currency] might not operate via a peer-to-peer mechanism, which brings the key features of anonymity and untraceability… Transactions using CBDC will be visible to the central bank, which would function as a third party to bring oversight on potential money laundering and illegal financing.” 


Huawei and UnionPay to expand Huawei Pay to Russia

China’s Huawei Pay debuts in Russia, as first port of call in global push — South China Morning Post — “It is a win-win cooperation between two Chinese companies as we join hands to increase the influence that China wields in the global mobile payment businesses,” said Wang Lixin, a vice-president of UnionPay International… In Russia, UnionPay has 400,000 point-of-sale terminals that can accept the Quickpass payment modes including Huawei Pay.” 


UnionPay: NFC mobile payment volumes are ‘growing quickly’ in China

Apple Pay growing fast but still bit player in China: UnionPay — Caixin — “Two years after their launch in China, a group of third-party mobile payment services led by global giant Apple Inc make up only a small fraction of contactless payments in the country, but the number is growing quickly… About 20% of UnionPay’s 94tn yuan (US$14.2tn) in annual transaction volume now comes from near field communication (NFC) technology payments.” 


Stripe: Bitcoin is now too slow and too expensive to be viable for payments

Ending Bitcoin support — Stripe — “Transaction confirmation times have risen substantially; this, in turn, has led to an increase in the failure rate of transactions denominated in fiat currencies. (By the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in Bitcoin price mean that it’s for the “wrong” amount.) Furthermore, fees have risen a great deal. For a regular Bitcoin transaction, a fee of tens of US dollars is common, making Bitcoin transactions about as expensive as bank wires.” 


One in five Americans are using voice assistants and chatbots for commerce

Securing conversational commerce: How to make your interactions with virtual assistants safer — Mastercard — “Voice-based and text-based agents are commonly used for basic informational tasks ranging from performing an internet search, to finding the nearest restaurant and giving simple commands such as making a phone call. But a growing number of people are using this interface for more complex tasks, with 21% of respondents using this technology to shop, pay bills, bank online or send money.” 


PCI publishes specifications for PIN entry on mobile phones and tablets

PCI Security Standards Council publishes security requirements for software-based PIN entry on COTS devices — PCI Security Standards Council — “The PCI Software-Based Pin Entry on Cots (SPoC) standard provides requirements for developing secure solutions that enable EMV contact and contactless transactions with pin entry on the merchant’s consumer device using a secure pin entry application in combination with a Secure Card Reader for Pin (SCRP).” 



Mastercard to mandate biometric security for online and mobile payments in Europe

Biometric identification must be made available for all Mastercard users by April 2019 — Mastercard — “All consumers will be able to identify themselves with biometrics such as fingerprints or facial recognition, when they shop and pay with Mastercard by April next year… Banks issuing Mastercard-branded cards will have to be able to offer biometric authentication for remote transactions, alongside existing PIN and password verification. It will also apply to all contactless transactions made at terminals with a mobile device.” 


Tencent opens up WeChat Pay to overseas credit card holders

WeChat Pay now allows users to bind overseas credit cards — Technode — “Expats living in China and residents of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan — places where WeChat is ambitiously expanding its user base — can now bind and activate WeChat Pay accounts with credit card services provided by MasterCard, Visa, and JCB… This is the first time users are able to use WeChat Pay without having a Chinese bank account or credit card.” 


Radius Bank lets customers add location-based transaction restrictions

Radius Bank launches innovative card control app to give customers greater financial peace of mind — Radius Bank — “The Radius Card app provides a number of money management benefits, including: On/off switch allows customers to quickly turn off their debit card should it become misplaced and back on again once it has been recovered; Location-based restrictions prevent transactions outside a specific area determined by the user; Real-time alerts whenever the card is used or when a transaction has been attempted and declined; Spending caps and activity limits to help users budget expenses better.” 


Shell pilots RFID system that scans all the items in a shopping basket in one go

Supermarket checkout designed to scan entire shopping basket trialled in London — Evening Standard — “Each shopping item has a tiny ‘radio frequency identification’ chip embedded in it… The customer first places their items on a scanning platform, which displays the full list on a screen. They open a smartphone app and tap the device on a reader to deduct payment from an account linked to a card app, such as Apple Pay or Android Pay, and are then emailed a receipt.” 


Metro Bank lets customers open an account with a selfie

Bricks and clicks unite: Metro Bank takes the revolution nationwide with launch of current accounts online — Metro Bank — “The use of cutting-edge technology means identification documents, along with a selfie, are uploaded directly onto the application. With verification and authentication taking place in real-time, accounts can be opened in less than 10 minutes, including setting-up internet banking.” 


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