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.”



Russian banks prep for launch of national biometric ID platform

Tinkoff Bank takes part in demonstrating a beta version of the Unified Biometrics System (UBS) — Tinkoff Bank — “Rostelecom, together with Tinkoff Bank, VTB Bank and Pochta Bank, has presented a beta version of its Unified Biometrics System (UBS), a digital platform developed at the request of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media and the Bank of Russia. The beta version features all the key components to deliver basic human identification functionality and is ready to be integrated into the banks’ information systems… The commercial launch of the Unified Biometrics System is slated for 1 July 2018.”


WhatsApp Payments enters beta testing in India

WhatsApp Payments is almost here, shows up on WhatsApp Beta — Gizmo Times — “The latest WhatsApp beta version has started showing the Payment option in the attachments list. The payments will be through UPI (Unified Payments Interface) but for now, it is only showing the list of banks and also the bank account that is linked, but the account is not getting added. This indicates the final stage of inclusion of WhatsApp payments system on the Android app.”



Trimet to roll out world’s first integration of transit ticketing card with Android Pay

Portland-Vancouver’s Hop Fastpass partners with Google, becoming the first virtual transit fare card available within Android Pay globally — TriMet — “TriMet and Google are teaming up for a first — making Hop Fastpass the first virtual transit card available in Android Pay starting early next year… In December 2017, a select group of TriMet, C-Tran, and Portland Streetcar beta testers will be able to load a virtual Hop card into Android Pay — giving them the ability to tap their phones to pay for their fares and receive all the benefits of a physical Hop card.”


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.”



HSBC to let customers view accounts from multiple banks in one app

HSBC to let UK customers manage different bank accounts on one screen with new app — CNBC — “Customers can add accounts from up to 21 different banks, including Barclays, Lloyds and Bank of America. When a new account is added, login details for each account are tailored to that bank’s interface… The bank has spent US$2bn globally to work on its digital banking platform.”


Apple releases iOS 11 with support for NFC tag reading

iOS 11 is now available to download — The Verge — “Today, Apple pushed out the final version of iOS 11, its latest mobile operating system release. Most iPhone and iPad units made in the last few years should be capable of downloading it now if you head over to the Settings panel and check for a software update under the General tab. For those who have been part of either the developer or public beta process, you’ll likely already have the finalized iOS 11 and shouldn’t need to do anything.”




Transfer money instantly to your bank account with PayPal

Transfer money instantly to your bank account with PayPal — PayPal — “PayPal users in the U.S. will soon be able to instantly transfer money to their bank accounts via eligible debit cards linked to their PayPal account… Our beta of this is now available to select PayPal users and will be made available to all U.S. PayPal users with eligible Visa or Mastercard debit cards over the coming weeks and months.”


Citadele launches contactless mobile payments in Latvia

Citadele launches contactless mobile payments in Latvia — Citadele Bank — “Citadele’s mobile payment service is currently operable in a beta testing programme, where it is being used by Citadele employees and select client groups… Initially, mobile phone payments will be available on the Android operating system… Citadele will soon offer alternative mobile payment solutions for users of other mobile operating systems: bracelets and stickers with near field communication technology.”





Android O will focus on ‘vitals’ like battery life and speed, first beta launches today

Android O will focus on ‘vitals’ like battery life and speed, first beta launches today — The Verge — “For security, Google is introducing a new feature called Google Play Protect. Google already scans apps in the Play Store to make sure they aren’t malicious, but now it’s going to make that more visible by showing that your phone’s apps have recently been scanned when you’re in the Store.”


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