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.”



300 German savings banks to roll out their own NFC mobile payments app at the end of July

Mobile payment: Sparkassen app to be available at the end of July — Heise Online (translation) — “A beta version is currently available in the Android Play Store. However, this only works with the accounts of selected savings banks whose employees and customers are putting the system through its paces. At the launch date at the end of July, around 300 savings banks will be there, a spokesman for the savings bank subsidiary S-Payment told Heise Online… Because the savings banks are following their own plans for mobile payment, their customers can not use their credit cards with Google Pay.”



UK government to use NFC to verify residency status of EU citizens after Brexit

Brexit: Three ‘simple’ questions for EU citizens to stay in UK — BBC — “Applicants with Android phones will be able to download an app which can read the chip in their passport to verify their identity — and they will be able to take a ‘selfie’ that can be checked against Home Office records, said Mr Javid. But he said there was an ‘an issue at the moment’ with Apple device users, who will not be able to make use of this app, and instead will have to send in their passport to prove their identity… The home secretary said he had raised the issue with Apple on a recent visit to Silicon Valley and the company was ‘looking at it actively’.”



JCB to add support for Google Pay in Japan

JCB to offer Google Pay in Japan — JCB — “JCB will enable Google Pay for in-store payments in Japan through its QuicPay contactless payment solution. At launch, Google Pay users will be able to make payments on their enrolled JCB credit, debit, or prepaid card at convenience stores, supermarkets, drugstores, and other shops where QuicPay is accepted and online wherever JCB is accepted. Credit, debit, and prepaid cards can be enrolled using the Google Pay app on Osaifu Keitai supported devices with Android OS 5.0 or higher version.”




Safaricom to launch messaging service that leverages M-Pesa for payments

One of the world’s biggest mobile money services wants to become a social network — Quartz — “The messaging service, known as Bonga (which means “to chat” in colloquial Swahili), was partially launched on April 26, in closed beta testing for select users on Android devices, according to documents seen by Quartz. The app will allow users to review their balance on M-Pesa, besides letting customers transact money without leaving the platform.”


Beijing Metro begins accepting QR code mobile tickets at turnstiles

QR code smartphone tickets available for subway — China.org.cn — “Travellers in Beijing can now use a QR code on their smartphone as a ticket to ride the subway… Passengers can download an app called RuubyPay that generates a QR code ticket that can be read using a scanner built into the subway turnstiles. The QR code scanning app can be used on any smartphone running iOS or Android that is connected to the internet, according to Sina.com. Tickets can be paid for using a linked bank, Alipay, or JD Finance account.”



Google Assistant adds support for voice-based payments

Now the Google Assistant can take care of your IOUs — Google — “Starting today, you can ask your Google Assistant to pay your friends back with Google Pay… You can easily send or request money from your contacts — for free — using the Assistant on Android and iOS phones in the US. In the coming months, you’ll be able to send money on voice-activated speakers like Google Home… To get started, just say ‘Hey Google, request $20 from Sam for the show tonight’ or ‘Hey Google, send Jane $15 for lunch today.’”


Google Pay adds support for Mifare public transportation tickets

NXP’s Mifare 2Go and Google Pay transform public transportation — NXP — PARTNER NEWS — “Combining Google Pay with the security, flexibility and scalability of Mifare products, this solution serves as a catalyst for the mobile transit experience, as it will be available for any consumer equipped with widely-available Android phones that support Near Field Communication (NFC)… The first deployment of this solution went live today with the Las Vegas Monorail.”


Android P to include support for GlobalPlatform Open Mobile API

Previewing Android P — Google — “Android P adds an implementation of the GlobalPlatform Open Mobile API [OMAPI] to Android. On supported devices, apps can use the OMAPI API to access secure elements (SE) to enable smart card payments and other secure services. A hardware abstraction layer (HAL) provides the underlying API for enumerating a variety of secure elements (eSE, UICC, and others) available.”


Barclaycard reports rapid rise in mobile and wearable payments volumes

Next phase of contactless revolution sees rapid growth in mobile and wearable payments — Barclaycard — “The amount spent using Barclaycard’s Android Contactless Mobile facility has increased 365% year-on-year, while spending via bPay — a unique, flexible payments chip that can be embedded into a variety of products such as watches and jewellery — jumped 129%… Overall, contactless payments, including those made on a credit and debit card, have seen continued growth over the last 12 months, with a 79% uplift in spending.”


Android P to include native support for iris verification?

Native support for iris scanners is finally coming to Android — XDA Developers — “The inclusion of a HAL interface will standardize how the Android framework will communicate with iris scanners… The inclusion of the base iris feature in Android will allow for apps to detect if the device has an iris scanner in place… The inclusion of the iris framework is what will actually allow for third-party apps to utilize the iris scanner for authentication.”


Dubai drivers use NFC phones to top up parking purses on contactless transit cards

Now tap a Nol card on your Android phone to pay for parking — Gulf News — “The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) recently launched a smart service enabling smartphone users to recharge their parking accounts by using the near field communication (NFC) feature of Nol cards and the RTA Dubai app… Users have to download the RTA Dubai app and create an account. The users can then use the Nol card option to top up the e-parking purse available on the app, just by tapping. The system will then transfer the selected amount from the Nol card to the e-parking purse.”


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