HBO commissions Game of Thrones sneakers with NFC tags

HBO Asia x SBTG Collab brings 4 ‘Game of Thrones’ sneakers to celebrate final season — Click The City — “Each pair of Game of Thrones x SBTG customized sneakers are embedded with near field communication (NFC) chips powered by VeChain, a public blockchain platform that allows any potential collector the ability to verify the authenticity of each pair through VeChainThor blockchain. The NFC chips also contain exclusive behind-the-scenes videos of each sneaker design which can be played and viewed by anyone using the VeChain mobile app.”






German savings banks to offer Apple Pay ‘this year’

Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken want to support Apple Pay in 2019 — Heise Online (translation) — “Like the savings banks, the Volksbanks offer their customers their own app for contactless payment transactions in the retail sector. However, it is only available for Android because Apple has not released the NFC interface of the iPhone for such applications. The German savings banks had demanded that Apple should open its NFC functionality to banking apps as recently as the end of 2018, but have now dropped this requirement.”


Chipotle teams with Venmo to launch mobile rewards program

Chipotle Rewards launches by giving fans a quarter of a million dollars on Venmo — Chipotle Mexican Grill — “Chipotle is using Venmo payouts to give away up to a quarter of a million dollars… For a chance to receive anywhere between $1 and $500, consumers submit the phone number associated with their Venmo account at chipotlerewardsme.com. Within 24 hours, recipients of the payouts will be alerted of the payment in the Venmo app with a payment note from Chipotle, along with a custom Chipotle pepper emoji.”





Sam’s Club to make it easier for shoppers to add products to Scan & Go mobile self-checkout basket

Sam’s Club files patent for next-level Scan & Go test — Sam’s Club — “With the upcoming test, we’ll enhance the experience with the launch of a technology using computer vision and machine learning. Rather than having to locate the barcode and scan it just right, the camera in the app will identify the product with a simple hover and add it to the member’s shopping list.”



Survey: US consumers want one app for banking and payments

Two-thirds of consumers favour single mobile app for banking and payments over cash and physical cards — Entersekt — “More than two-thirds (68%) of regular banking app users in the US would ‘like to do all banking and payments via one single mobile app’. A similar majority (67%) claim they would be less likely to use cash or physical credit cards if they had such an app. The lure of an all-in-one combination app is stronger among younger adults (18 to 44 years) who regularly used banking apps: just over three-quarters (76%) want one, compared with only 50% of those aged 55 and over.”


Barclays to let UK merchants accept payments direct from customers’ bank accounts

Barclays accelerates growth of Pay by Bank app — Barclays — “Pay by Bank app allows shoppers to pay quickly and securely for goods and services on a mobile device, without the need to enter payment details, logins or passwords. Customers simply select the Pay by Bank app option during the checkout process, at which point they log into their existing mobile banking app to seamlessly authorise and complete the purchase.”


Kroger launches payments, offers and rewards app for iOS and Android

Kroger introduces Kroger Pay and Kroger Rewards debit card — The Kroger Co — “After a customer enters their custom PIN or biometrics, the app provides customers with a single-use QR code to scan at the terminal to quickly communicate payment and loyalty card information, which includes digital coupons and personalized offers… Kroger Pay recently launched in the retailer’s Columbus, Ohio division. The service will roll out to 10 additional markets in the spring, with plans to go nationwide later this year.”


Tesco lets customers use Siri to check their bank balance

‘How do you want to check your balance?’ Tesco Bank lets customers use Apple’s Siri to check their balance — Tesco Bank — “Tesco Bank has today announced changes to its mobile banking app, which will enable iPhone customers to check account balances using Apple’s Siri functionality… To use our new Siri feature within the mobile banking app, customers should first ensure the functionality is enabled on their device. Customers can then turn on Siri within the app by visiting the settings menu.”



Boston to begin move to contactless ticketing ‘in late 2019’

T automated fare collection system expected to be completed by May 2021 — Curbed — “The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority expects to complete the T’s switch to an automated fare collection system by May 2021, but will begin rolling it out on a limited basis in late 2019… Riders will use a fare card, a smartphone app, or a contactless card to tap and board. Riders will be able to reload the fare cards and apps online and at vending machines in all T stations and at select bus stops.”



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