Amazon moves into US mobile payments market

Amazon Pay accepted here? Web giant aims to put digital wallet in stores — The Wall Street Journal — “Amazon.com Inc is gearing up to challenge Apple Inc in the mobile payments race. The e-commerce giant is working to persuade brick-and-mortar merchants to accept its Amazon Pay digital wallet, according to people familiar with the matter, attempting to expand a service now used primarily for purchases online.”


ANZ lets customers use smartphones and smartwatches to withdraw cash from ATMs across Australia

ANZ launches smartphone ATM access in an Australian first — ANZ — “ANZ today announced a new way for customers to access cash on the go, using only their smartphone or watch at 2,400 ATMs across Australia… There are more than one million ANZ customers currently using digital wallets loaded with an ANZ-issued card. Between October 2017 and August 2018, ANZ customers made more than 57m mobile payment transactions worth more than A$1.83bn. This was an increase of more than 150% in transaction numbers from the same time a year earlier.”


Singapore Airlines adds boarding passes to Google Pay

SIA introduces seamless access to mobile boarding passes via Google Pay — Singapore Airlines — “Customers travelling with Singapore Airlines (SIA) can now have the added flexibility of saving their mobile boarding pass on Google Pay, the digital wallet platform and online payment system developed by Google. This is the first time an airline in the Asia-Pacific region has such a capability on Google Pay.”


Singapore Airlines rolls out blockchain digital wallet that lets customers spend loyalty points in retail stores

KrisFlyer launches innovative miles-based digital wallet, KrisPay — Singapore Airlines — “The SIA Group’s KrisFlyer frequent-flyer programme today launched KrisPay, the miles-based digital wallet which enables members to convert KrisFlyer miles into KrisPay miles instantly for everyday spending at partner merchants… Members can easily turn their KrisFlyer miles into KrisPay miles using the app’s instant top-up function… To pay for purchases, members simply need to scan the KrisPay QR code at the merchant, and key in the amount they wish to pay with their KrisPay miles.”


Gaming hardware maker Razer signs up 300,000 mobile payments users in 48 hours

Razer Pay gains 300,000 users in Malaysia within 48 hours — Razer — “Within 48 hours from the launch of Razer Pay on 4 July 2018, over 300,000 users in Malaysia downloaded and signed up for the Razer e-wallet app designed for youth and millennials… Also within the same 48 hours, over 11,000 transactions were made by first-time Razer Pay users at Berjaya Group stores (such as 7-Eleven and Starbucks).”


Chinese mobile payments providers begin charging fees to users

Tencent’s WeChat widens service fee for users of ‘card repay’ feature in digital wallet — South China Morning Post — “In line with international practice, there are no free financial services. WeChat previously paid the credit card repayment fee for users, going forward the new fee chargeable to customers will support sustainable development [of the service],” said a Tencent spokesman in response to a request for comment.”


National Bank of Canada lets merchants accept contactless payments on their Samsung smartphones

National Bank launches Easy Pay, a mobile point-of-sale solution enabling Canadian SMEs to accept contactless payments — National Bank of Canada — “With Easy Pay, merchants can accept payments in person using a compatible smartphone — no peripherals required. After registering for the Easy Pay solution, they simply download the Easy Pay app in order to accept payments from customers using an eligible contactless credit card or via the customer’s digital wallet.”


Dubai’s Atlantis resort installs blockchain-based payments system for guests

Atlantis resort rolls out blockchain-based guest payment solution — ITP.net — “The new payment system gives guests at Atlantis either a wristband or a digital wallet to charge all their services during their stay. Details of every transaction are recorded in Lucid Pay, so that in the event of any dispute, both parties are able to see exactly what was charged for. Visibility into transactions will also help in combating fraud.”


Barclays signs digital and mobile payments deal with PayPal

Barclays and PayPal announce industry leading partnership — Barclays — “Consumers are expected to benefit from a raft of new features that will make it even easier to manage their PayPal account in Barclays digital channels, and to use their Barclays products in their PayPal digital wallet… PayPal and Barclays will explore unique ways to connect Pingit and PayPal to improve how customers can move and manage their money. The partnership will also explore opportunities for US consumers to redeem Barclays reward points at businesses that accept PayPal worldwide.”


PayPal expands into mainstream banking

PayPal makes a move toward traditional banking — Wall Street Journal — “The San Jose, Calif-based payments company has been quietly reaching out to groups of customers in recent months with an offer to add basic banking features to their PayPal digital wallet. The features include Federal Deposit Insurance Corp insurance for their balances, a debit card that can be used to withdraw cash at ATMs and the ability to direct-deposit their paychecks.”


American Express files faster blockchain payments patent

Systems and methods for blockchain based payment networks — USPTO — “A system, method, and computer readable medium (collectively, the ‘system’) is disclosed for a payment network using a blockchain-based ledger that is configured to execute payment transactions in response to blockchain requests… In various embodiments, the system may assess a risk associated with the transaction. The system may also approve the transaction in response to the risk associated with the transaction being acceptable. The system may also transmit a notification (eg a push notification) to the payee digital wallet that the transaction was successful.”


Singapore Airlines to issue blockchain wallet that lets frequent flyers redeem loyalty points in stores

KrisFlyer to launch world’s first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet — Singapore Airlines — “The SIA Group’s KrisFlyer frequent-flyer programme is to launch a world-first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet capability that will help unlock the value of KrisFlyer miles to enable everyday spending at retail partners… It will allow the extensive KrisFlyer membership base to use ‘digital KrisFlyer miles’ for point-of-sale transactions at participating retail merchants.”


Alibaba takes 33% stake in Alipay operator Ant Financial

Alibaba agrees to 33% stake in Ant Financial — Alibaba — “An equity stake in Ant Financial will bring key strategic benefits to Alibaba, including advancing its New Retail strategy with mobile payments, increasing user acquisition and retention through collaboration with the Alipay digital wallet (“Alipay Wallet”), and enhancing the execution of the international expansion… Upon closing, the companies will terminate the current profit-sharing arrangement under which Ant Financial pays royalty and technology service fees in an amount equal to 37.5% of its pre-tax profits to Alibaba.”


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.”


Kroger grocery stores to accept Chase Pay mobile payments

Kroger and Chase Pay announce mobile payment partnership — Kroger — “The Kroger Co is teaming up with Chase Pay — the digital engagement wallet from JPMorgan Chase & Co — to offer mobile payments starting with select retail markets and ecommerce programs in 2018… Through the partnership, Chase’s 65 million customers will have an opportunity to use Chase Pay at Kroger for online and in-lane purchases.”


Paytm CEO sets out plans to become the world’s largest digital bank

Alibaba-backed Paytm aims to become world’s largest digital bank — Bloomberg — “Paytm Payments Bank aims to create the world’s largest digital bank with 500m accounts, envisioning an online financial services provider of everything from wealth management to credit cards and stock market trading… The bank grew out of Paytm’s digital wallet, which amassed over a hundred million customers after India took high-denomination bills — or nearly 90% of the value of cash — out of circulation last November.”


UK government unveils plans for smart ticketing on railways

Connecting people: A strategic vision for rail — Department for Transport — “Our aim for 2018 is that, by the end of the year, both ITSO and barcode tickets will be accepted for travel on almost all of the network… We also expect much of the industry to offer smart cards that can be held in digital ‘wallets’ on mobile phones… We expect in the medium-term wider use of mobile phone-based ticketing, and in the longer-term to explore options that don’t require a physical check of tickets.”




Paytm to invest US$1bn in building out its payments business

Paytm plans $1 billion top-up to cash in on note ban success — Times of India — “Sharma said they were looking at a three-pronged strategy to double the number of users in the coming year by converting Paytm users to its payments bank, tap into non-wallet users through UPI and sell financial products from next year. ‘Long ago, we realised that standalone payments as a business is an orphan and thus we are building a bouquet of products,’ Sharma said.”


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