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.”



PayPal adds support for local payments services

Introducing the new PayPal Checkout, built to drive conversions — PayPal — “Smart Payment Buttons are checkout buttons that dynamically present the most relevant payment methods for each customer in each geography… Over the next few weeks, we will enable iDEAL for customers in the Netherlands, Bancontact for customers in Belgium, MyBank for customers in Italy, Giropay for customers in Germany and EPS for customers in Austria… We expect to roll out many more local payment methods this year.”


US merchants increase support for NFC in stores, cut back on Apple Pay and Google Pay online

New survey finds fewer merchants accepting Apple Pay — Kount — “Support is up across the board for near field communication (up from 29% to 37%) and other mobile payments at the physical point-of-sale… Online merchant support for Apple Pay has gone down from 48% to 35%, Google Pay (previously Android Pay), is down from 38% to 25%, support for PayPal increased (from 48% to 64%) while 10% accept AliPay and 10% accept other e-wallets. The share of merchants who accept Samsung Pay, Visa Checkout, MasterPass, and Chase Pay all stayed constant from last year.”


NatWest reports strong consumer uptake for direct alternative to card-based mobile payments

NatWest trials new way to pay for online shopping — RBS — “The service removes the need to input long card numbers by providing customers with the option to press a NatWest button at the end of the purchase process which will take them through to their mobile app. Then the customer will login with Touch ID or their standard password before the process will complete automatically… Customers will immediately see their balance, updated in real time… In the initial trial, over half of customers chose to make their payment using the NatWest service, rather than use their card.”




US consumers are making fewer online purchases on their mobile phones due to ‘cumbersome payment methods’

Forrester: Mobile shopping stalls as payment hinders growth — Mobile Marketer — “Cumbersome payment methods that require too many keystrokes at checkout are impeding the adoption of commerce on mobile, where conversion rates are about half that of desktop and laptop platforms… The percentage of online US sales made on mobile phones dipped from 43% in 2016 to 36% last year… During that same time, ecommerce grew by 14%.”



One in four Koreans now use their phone to make mobile payments

More than quarter of South Koreans use mobile payment services — The Korea Times — “The survey of 2,500 adults, conducted by the Bank of Korea (BOK) between September and October last year, showed that 26.1% of respondents had used a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet computer for payment services in the previous six months… Online purchasing was the most frequently used service through mobile devices with 86.6%, followed by offline mobile settlement with 34.7% and mobile transportation payment with 21.6%.”


Card networks to co-develop single buy button for online transactions

Shiny new button may help Visa, Mastercard and AmEx fight PayPal — Bloomberg — “Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc, the world’s largest card networks, told an industry conference they will combine their Visa Checkout and Masterpass payment options into a single button. Spokesmen for American Express Co and Discover Financial Services said their firms also will join the project… The new system will rely on Visa and Mastercard’s token technology.”


Alfa-Bank introduces instant mobile debit card issuance

Order a card a minute before payment — Alfa-Bank (translation) — “Instant issuing of the card in the application is a breakthrough technology that allows Alfa-Bank customers to order and start using the required bank card in less than a minute… Alfa-Bank is the first in the Russian market to offer its customers this opportunity… The card can be immediately added to Apple Pay and used to pay for purchases using a smartphone wherever contactless payment terminals are installed, in applications and on websites.”


Ant Financial seeks US$9bn in new funding

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial to raise $9bn, become world’s biggest unicorn — Wall Street Journal — “Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s financial technology business is about to vault into the ranks of the world’s most valuable companies. Ant Financial Services Group, carved out of his e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd seven years ago, is preparing to raise US$9bn in a private funding round, according to people familiar with the matter. That ups a previous fundraising target of US$5bn.”


Apple Pay runs Springtime Savings promo with ten leading brands

Latest Apple Pay promo offers 15-30% discounts from Adidas, Boxed, Goat, Headout, Saks Fifth Avenue, more — 9to5Mac — “Apple has been running regular weekly Apple Pay promos for some time now, but this week is offering deals from not just one brand but ten of them. Deals range from free rush shipping to discounts of up to 30%… The offers are applicable when using Apple Pay as your payment method either through the relevant apps, or on the web.”


Supermarket giant Carrefour rolls out its own NFC mobile payments service

Carrefour steps up its digital transformation with the in-store roll-out of ‘Carrefour Pay’ — its mobile payment solution — Carrefour — “Carrefour Pay is quick and easy and has no payment limit — customers can use it to pay for their shopping at all terminals which have NFC contactless technology… It can be used in 3,000 Carrefour stores in France and in all stores which accept contactless payment. All bank cards will be added in 2018, as well as all Carrefour e-commerce sites in France. Carrefour Pay can be accessed via the Carrefour&Moi mobile app and also features a loyalty card and coupon facility.”


Capital One lets cardholders create virtual card numbers in their browser

Capital One’s shopping assistant Eno can now dole out virtual card numbers in the browser — Techcrunch — “Capital One’s card numbers let you pay without needing to use (or even locate) your credit card account information, once the extension is set up and configured. The extension instantly creates virtual card numbers when you go to a site’s checkout page… The Eno extension will also auto-fill your payment information on the checkout page, and reappear when you return to the same site.”


Bain & Co explains how a Bank of Amazon could save the retailer $250m a year in interchange fees

Banking’s Amazon moment — Bain & Company — “Amazon could avoid more than a quarter of a billion dollars in annual interchange fees in the US alone. This estimate is based on three assumptions: Amazon achieves the bank account penetration our consumer research suggests; 15% of its e-commerce customers pay directly from their Amazon bank account instead of through a credit card; and those customers spend at the same level as Amazon Prime customers.”


Amazon plots move into mobile payments and financial services

Are you ready for an Amazon-branded checking account? — Wall Street Journal — “Amazon.com Inc is in talks with big banks including JPMorgan Chase about building a checking-account-like product the e-commerce giant could offer its customers, according to people familiar with the matter… Converting its shoppers into financial account holders could also aid Amazon as it ramps up its efforts in payments… The company is now trying to bring Amazon Pay to brick-and-mortar stores, according to people familiar with those plans. It is likely to begin with Whole Foods, which Amazon bought last year for roughly US$13.5bn.”


eBay to replace PayPal as its main payments provider

eBay to intermediate payments on its Marketplace platform — eBay — “eBay intends to further improve its customer experience by intermediating payments on its Marketplace platform. In doing so, eBay will manage the payments flow, simplifying the end-to-end experience for buyers and sellers… eBay will move as quickly as possible to complete this process within the parameters of the operating agreement with PayPal, which remains in place through mid-2020.”


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