Central bank tightens rules on accepting cards and cash in Chinese stores

As China goes increasingly cashless, PBOC says cash payment is still alive — South China Morning Post — “The central bank in China, the world’s largest mobile payment market, is urging individuals and companies to not refuse or discriminate against cash payment… The PBOC said cash should be accepted alongside the debit card at all business outlets, with the exception of e-commerce and unstaffed stores. Businesses have one month from Friday to make necessary adjustments to avoid being investigated for breaches by the authorities.”


Popularity of contactless payments pushes debit cards ahead of cash in the UK

Convenience of debit card payments puts cash in second place — UK Finance — “The popularity of contactless payments among UK consumers is a key driver of debit card growth. In total, across both debit and credit cards, the number of contactless payments increased by 97% during 2017 to 5.6bn. Almost two thirds (63%) of people in the UK now use contactless payments, and no age group or region falls below 50% usage.”


Mastercard to pilot cardless ATM withdrawals

It’s app, tap and go at ATMs thanks to Mastercard and Diebold Nixdorf — Mastercard — “Here’s how it works: Consumers open their bank’s app on their smartphone. They use the app to find nearby ATMs, choose the amount they want to withdraw and see the associated fees. Once at the ATM, they quickly snap or tap, often by scanning a QR code, authenticate using optional biometrics on device, and take the dispensed cash.”


Israel considers issuing a digital currency to speed up payments

Israel central bank mulls issuing digital currency for faster payments — Reuters — “The Bank of Israel is examining issuing digital currency as a means of creating a faster payments system as well as reducing the amount of cash in the economy, a central bank source said… The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the government was ready to legislate or include the issue in its 2019 budget and economic package if the central bank gave the green light.”



Australia’s central bank explores the issue of electronic banknotes

An eAUD? — Reserve Bank of Australia — “An electronic form of banknotes could coexist with the electronic payment systems operated by the banks, although the case for this new form of money is not yet established… The issuing authority could issue electronic currency in the form of files or ‘tokens’. These tokens could be stored in digital wallets, provided by financial institutions and others. These tokens could then be used for payments in a similar way that physical banknotes are used today.”


ECB survey finds cash still dominates payments in the euro zone

Euro zone consumers still addicted to cash when they buy — Reuters — “Cash still dominates consumer payments in the euro zone, even as many Western economies are rapidly moving towards electronic payments, a survey published by the European Central Bank showed on Friday… The figures indicate that the euro zone is one of the slowest among big Western economies in giving up cash, trailing countries like the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada.”



Wells Fargo adds NFC cash withdrawals at 5,000 ATMs

More than 5,000 Wells Fargo ATMs launch NFC-enabled mobile wallet capability — Wells Fargo — “A customer can initiate an ATM transaction by signing into leading mobile wallet features, such as Wells Fargo Wallet for Android, Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay, found on mobile phones. They simply hold their phone or wearable device with mobile payment functionality near an NFC-enabled ATM terminal… The customer will then input their Wells Fargo Debit or EasyPay card personal identification number (PIN) and complete their transaction.”


US consumers continue to rely on cash for payments

Cash is still a constant for US consumers — Glory — “84% of US consumers would still like the option to pay by cash while 63% feel it is the most secure way to pay… 61% of Americans trust cash more than mobile payments and 55% favor it over cards respectively. Convenience also plays a key role in consumers’ choice of payments, with 87% wanting the option to pay with cash in all transactions… 64% of consumers use cash the same amount or more than they did a year ago.”


Central Bank of Uruguay to run mobile currency pilot

Uruguayan central bank to test digital currency — Latin American Herald Tribune — “‘Instead of carrying around a leather wallet with paper currency,’ people will load electronic currency onto their mobile phones. ‘It’s not that you use the phone to order money transfers, as is done today, but having bills in the cellular and being able to pass them on from one user to another’… Digital bills will be used ‘exactly the same’ as paper bills.”




Standard Chartered turns merchants into ATMs

No ATM needed: Standard Chartered partners startup SoCash on 400 cash withdrawal points — The Straits Times — “Instead of having to look for an ATM, Standard Chartered Bank customers now have the option of getting cash through SoCash, which has been integrated into the SC Mobile app… They simply key in the amount they want to withdraw and collect the cash from any outlet of a participating merchant. Withdrawals can range anywhere from S$20 (US$14.84) to a maximum of S$500 (US$371.09) daily.”



Cashless society still far away for most European markets

Cashless society still far away for most European markets — GlobalData — “The closest market to the cashless ideal is Norway, where cash accounted for only 7% of all transactions in 2016 (down from 11% in 2011). The Scandinavian markets generally are the least reliant on cash in the region, with cash accounting for 18% of all transactions in Sweden in 2016, and 26% in Denmark… The most cash-dependent market in Europe is Italy, where cash accounted for 82% of all transactions in the market in 2016 (down from 88% in 2011).”



Macau’s ATMs are using facial recognition to help follow the money

Macau’s ATMs are using facial recognition to help follow the money — Bloomberg — “Chinese bettors withdrawing money from some ATMs in Macau need to do more than punch in their PIN code. They also have to stare into a camera for six seconds so facial-recognition software can verify their identity and help monitor transactions… China UnionPay Co’s network is the first to use the software, which will be installed in all the city’s 1,200 cash dispensers.”



Rakbank is the first bank in the Middle East to introduce Samsung Pay solutions for its ATMs

Rakbank is the first bank in the Middle East to introduce Samsung Pay solutions for its ATMs — Rakbank — “This innovative digital solution enables the bank’s customers to make cardless cash withdrawals from Rakbank ATMs using their Samsung smartphones without the need for a physical debit or credit card. The Samsung Pay solution for ATMs is an end-to-end contactless process.”


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