Amazon Key to let delivery drivers and service providers into homes

Introducing Amazon Key, a new level of delivery convenience for Prime members — Amazon — “Available initially in 37 cities across the United States, Amazon’s innovative new service enables in-home delivery at no extra cost. Amazon Key also allows customers to grant secure home access for guests and, coming soon, tens of thousands of service providers, such as Merry Maids, Rover and professional services from Amazon Home Services. Amazon Key includes the Amazon Key app, a smart lock and the company’s newest device, Amazon Cloud Cam, an intelligent indoor security camera.” 


Apple cuts Face ID performance to address iPhone X production issues

Inside Apple’s struggle to get the iPhone X to market on time — Bloomberg — “As of early fall, it was clearer than ever that production problems meant Apple Inc wouldn’t have enough iPhone Xs in time for the holidays. The challenge was how to make the sophisticated phone — with advanced features such as facial recognition — in large enough numbers… Apple came up with a solution: It quietly told suppliers they could reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology to make it easier to manufacture.” 


Amazon puts new focus on its Amazon Coins virtual currency

Amazon debuts a new Appstore app with better discovery, focus on Amazon Coins — Techcrunch — “Introduced in 2013, the Amazon Coins platform represents a different means of encouraging consumers to pay for apps and in-app purchases. Instead of seeing a dollar amount associated with their purchase, app developers show the purchase amount as coins… The idea is that the more Coins you purchase, the more you’ll save on the purchase amount. For example, 100 Amazon Coins are worth $100, but when you buy them in larger bundles, they cost less. With the highest package, customers can save up to 22% on their Coin purchases.” 


NXP releases IoT microcontroller with NFC and energy harvesting

NXP integrates NFC technology into LPC800 series microcontrollers revolutionizing smart tagging in IoT applications — NXP — PARTNER NEWS — “Offering an integrated near field communications (NFC) interface with energy-harvesting capability, the LPC8N04 MCU is optimized to address the growing need for cost-effective, short-range two-way wireless communication… The LPC8N04 MCU enables developers to quickly implement broad-based solutions that leverage system diagnostics or environmental conditions for a smarter tagging experience. 


New York City to get NFC mobile ticketing from 2019

MTA approves plan to scrap MetroCards for ‘tap’ payment system — New York Daily News — “The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board took its first step on Monday to retire the MetroCard and bring technology to let people “tap” their way through turnstiles and onto buses… Transit passengers in 2019 will be able to tap their way using a bank card or smartphone on 500 turnstiles and 600 buses, plus load up their chosen device with money online… In 2020, all subway stations and buses will have the tech.” 


Canadian bank lets customers use learning AI to transact in Facebook Messenger

ATB Financial rolls out world’s first full-featured virtual banking assistant on Facebook Messenger — ATB Financial — “What makes ATB’s virtual assistant unique? Far beyond a Q&A chatbot, its sophisticated banking transaction abilities offer robust personal financial management tools tailored to fit the needs of each individual customer. Customers can seamlessly pay bills, view account balances, send Interac e-Transfers or transfer money between accounts, as well as perform cross-currency money movement all from within their Messenger platform… The virtual assistant is always learning. The more customers engage with it, the more it will be able to do.” 


Facebook signs up for Visa Token Service

Facebook joins the Visa Digital Enablement Program — Visa — “Visa today announced that Facebook has joined the Visa Digital Enablement Program (VDEP), which offers a commercial framework to make it easier for partners to access Visa’s token services and other digital capabilities globally. Facebook will use the Visa Token Service to help accelerate the availability of secure, payment-enabled services through its digital properties.” 


Apple Pay goes live in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the UAE

Apple Pay Launches in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and UAE — MacRumors — “In Denmark, Jyske Bank (Visa debit cards only) and Nordea are supporting Apple Pay. In Finland and Sweden, Apple Pay can be used with debit and credit cards from Nordea and ST1. Edenred and N26 support will be coming soon to Finland, while Ticket Rikskuponger will support Apple Pay in Sweden in the near future. In United Arab Emirates, the following banks and cards work with Apple Pay: Emirates Islamic (Visa credit, debit, and prepaid cards), Emirates NBD, HSBC (Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards), Mashreq, Rakbank (Mastercard credit, debit, and prepaid cards), Standard Chartered Bank”. 


Zelle reports 65,000 new customers a day for its bank-led P2P payments service

Zelle returns to Money 20/20 with a surge in network payments — Zelle — “In Q3 2017 (July – Sept) Zelle payments surged, with an average of 65,000 consumers enrolling daily, resulting in the network processing more than 60m real-time person-to-person (P2P) payments, valued at US$17.5bn… This success comes as the number of financial institutions in the Zelle Network grows to more than 50.” 


Mastercard demos payments in augmented reality

Mastercard eyes the future of retail with Augmented Reality shopping experience — Mastercard — “This new AR experience from Mastercard will not only let shoppers view digital representations of products before they commit to a purchase, but also learn more about what they are buying, see additional options not available in the physical location and get instant recommendations or other information relevant to their unique experience. When done shopping, users can pay for items using Masterpass, which will first authenticate the user’s iris.” 



Apple Pay reaches 20 countries, representing 70% of the world’s card transaction volume

Apple Pay now in 20 markets, nabs 90% of all mobile contactless transactions where active — Techcrunch — “Bailey also announced that the service is launching in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the UAE in the next few days, bringing the total number of countries where it is used up to 20. And she said that 4,000 issuers worldwide now work with the wallet… While these may not sound like massive numbers on their own, 20 markets represents a full 70% of the world’s card transaction volume, she noted.” 


Amex applies for personalized blockchain rewards patent

American Express eyes blockchain for customer rewards systems — CoinDesk — “A new patent application published last week by the US Patent and Trademark Office details a concept for offering customer-specific types of rewards (including points, a virtual currency or specific items tied to a product). The filing indicates the financial giant would make these offers by compiling personalized data about the customer, such as their historic spending patterns.” 



Thinfilm raises US$110m to support growth in NFC market

Thinfilm raises $110 million as NFC solutions traction increases among leading consumer brands — Thinfilm — “The substantial funding secured in this private placement is a testament to both the opportunity that exists in the NFC solutions space and Thinfilm’s ability — as a market leader — to address the increasing demand among consumer brands of all sizes,” said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm. “With sufficient financing to get us to cash break-even, we are now keenly focused on bringing affordable intelligence to billions of everyday items.” 


Facebook Messenger adds PayPal P2P payments

Send money to friends and family in Messenger with PayPal — PayPal — “We’re excited today to announce an expansion of our relationship with Facebook with the addition of PayPal as a funding source for peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, right in Messenger… We are also introducing our first-ever PayPal customer service bot for Messenger, so PayPal customers can seamlessly receive payment and account support directly in the app.” 



The Clearing House to secure real-time payments system with tokenization

Mastercard and The Clearing House partner on tokenization solution — Mastercard — “The Clearing House (TCH) and Mastercard announced they are partnering to enable TCH to provision and manage Mastercard-branded tokens on behalf of banks… The Clearing House will launch its card tokenization solution in the next quarter, and is in the process of extending tokenization to other networks it manages, including Real-Time Payments (RTP).” 



Mastercard to use blockchain for non-card payments and product authentication

Mastercard opens-up access to blockchain API for partner banks and merchants — Mastercard — “Mastercard blockchain solution has the ability to power secure and seamless non-card payment transactions such as business-to-business payments and trade finance transactions. It also has the ability to power non- payment solutions such as proof of provenance that helps authenticate products across the supply chain.” 


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