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.”


One in five Americans are using voice assistants and chatbots for commerce

Securing conversational commerce: How to make your interactions with virtual assistants safer — Mastercard — “Voice-based and text-based agents are commonly used for basic informational tasks ranging from performing an internet search, to finding the nearest restaurant and giving simple commands such as making a phone call. But a growing number of people are using this interface for more complex tasks, with 21% of respondents using this technology to shop, pay bills, bank online or send money.”


Mastercard to mandate biometric security for online and mobile payments in Europe

Biometric identification must be made available for all Mastercard users by April 2019 — Mastercard — “All consumers will be able to identify themselves with biometrics such as fingerprints or facial recognition, when they shop and pay with Mastercard by April next year… Banks issuing Mastercard-branded cards will have to be able to offer biometric authentication for remote transactions, alongside existing PIN and password verification. It will also apply to all contactless transactions made at terminals with a mobile device.”


Mastercard to add biometric security to online transactions in Europe

Mastercard establishes biometrics as the new normal for safer online shopping — Mastercard — “Consumers will have the capability to use biometrics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, as a way to identify themselves when they shop and pay with Mastercard as of April 2019… This shift to biometrics is part of Mastercard’s new action plan to help banks, retailers and partners to prevent fraud and improve the consumer experience in the new digital environment. It also meets new regulatory requirements around Strong Customer Authentication set out by PSD2 and is aimed at ensuring a smoother consumer experience and reducing unjustified declines.”


Campari fridge magnets let customers order drinks via NFC

Out of Espolòn Tequila or Aperol? Touch your phone to your new Campari America refrigerator magnet to automatically order more — Campari America — “When consumers want to order or re-order their favorite Campari America brand, they simply touch their iPhone or Android smartphone to one of six available branded ‘smart’ magnets. The NFC chip embedded in the magnet then prompts Drizly to open the specific website page for that brand and gives the consumer the option to add the item to their cart and immediately check out, with the product being delivered by local retailers — all in one cohesive mobile experience.”



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.”


Alipay pushes into Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines with Christmas shopping festival

Alipay to hold online 24-hour Christmas shopping festival as part of expansion push — South China Morning Post — “The event will take place in Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines with Alipay partners in each location: Hutchison in Hong Kong, Paytm in India, Truemoney in Thailand and GCash in the Philippines… As part of the December event, the AlipayHK joint venture has partnered with more than 8,000 bricks-and-mortar stores to offer exclusive gifts, discounts and rewards.”


Indian government sets out plans to make digital payments ‘visibly cheaper’ than cash

Govt to incentivise online payments to push digital transactions — Hindustan Times — “The incentives could include cashbacks and reward points for BHIM users… The note presented last week by the ministry of electronics and information technology to Parliament’s standing committee on finance detailed a five-step road map to push e-transactions. ‘Digital payments to be made visibly cheaper than cash,’ the note said.


EMVCo releases online and in-app transaction security framework

EMVCo launches EMV secure remote commerce technical framework — EMVCo — “EMV SRC will address the complexities and potential vulnerabilities within the remote payments environment by defining a consistent approach to enable the secure transmission and interaction of payment card data among participants. This helps reduce exposure to data compromise and simplify merchant support of these solutions.”


Amex adds biometric authentication to Safekey 3D Secure platform

American Express supports next generation of digital commerce over internet-connected devices with SafeKey 2.0 rollout — American Express — “SafeKey 2.0, which leverages the EMV 3D Secure 2.0 industry standard, is a global solution that provides an extra layer of security when an American Express card member makes a purchase online at a participating merchant… The updated platform supports authentication methods using biometrics, including fingerprints and facial recognition… In addition, SafeKey 2.0 will support card issuers and merchant acquirers in the European Union as they address the Strong Customer Authentication requirements of the Payment Services Directive 2.0.”


Google reports 7.5m users of its Tez audio QR mobile payments app

Edited transcript of Alphabet earnings conference call — Yahoo Finance — “To help millions of people, we are building products specifically designed for local markets in Asia. In India last month, we launched Tez, a mobile payments and commerce app that already has more than 7.5 million users who have made more than 30m transactions. I’m really excited about the potential this brings for India’s mostly cash-based economy.”


Swarovski lets shoppers make payments in VR

Mastercard and Swarovski launch virtual reality shopping experience — Mastercard — “Once the consumers decide and select the piece from the collection that they want to purchase, they can add it to the cart and check out by focusing their gaze on the Masterpass button that appears at the bottom of the product description. When the consumer exits the application or the session detects that the headset has been removed, the consumer will be automatically logged out of their Masterpass account to protect against unintended purchases.”


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