Line sets out plans to roll out mobile payments in Japan

Chat app Line plots finance ‘revolution’ with mobile payments — Nikkei Asian Review — “Line, the operator of Japan’s leading chat app, is pushing hard into the banking sphere with plans to aggressively expand in mobile payments, aiming to get its 75 million users hooked on transactions without the fees imposed by conventional banks… Line is rolling out a version of its app that will let small and midsize merchants accept QR code-based payments via Line Pay. Transaction surcharges will be waived for the first three years, and the system costs nothing to set up.”


Baseball fans can now use Apple’s Messages app to order and pay for food and drink from their seats

Philadelphia Phillies and Aramark launch Apple Business Chat at Citizens Bank Park — Aramark — “With the ease of a text message, Philadelphia Phillies fans can now order beverages using their iPhone without missing a minute of on-field baseball action… Fans in designated sections of Citizens Bank Park will be able to use Apple Business Chat to place orders using their iPhone’s Messages app to have the menu items delivered directly to their seats, as part of a ground-breaking pilot program.”


Facebook patent sets out how AIs could accept Messenger payments

Processing payment transactions using artificial intelligence messaging services — USPTO — “One or more embodiments use natural language processing to analyze messages from the user to the messaging bot, and from the messaging bot to the user, to identify a product and a request to purchase the identified product. Based on the identified product and the request to purchase the product, one or more embodiments initiate a payment transaction on behalf of the user based on a natural language conversation and without redirecting the user away from the communications session.”


Paytm integrates games, TV, sports and news into its mobile wallet app

Now enjoy news, live TV, cricket, entertainment & games in Paytm Inbox — Paytm — “We have added a host of new features to ‘Inbox’, our in-app messaging service that allows you to chat with friends and family and send/request money at the same time. You would now be able to enjoy in-app live TV, news, cricket, entertainment videos and games on-the-go for free.”


WhatsApp tests mobile payments with one million consumers in India

Almost one million people ‘testing’ WhatsApp payments service in India — PTI/Economic Times — “Today, almost one million people are testing WhatsApp payments in India. The feedback has been very positive, and people enjoy the convenience of sending money as simple and securely as sending messages,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI… WhatsApp is working closely with the Indian government, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and multiple banks, including payment service providers, to expand the feature to more people.”


Facebook partners with major banks to roll out WhatsApp Pay across India

WhatsApp hastens payments push for 200 million Indians — Bloomberg — “Facebook Inc is set to offer its WhatsApp payment services to the whole of India as early as next week in an attempt to win market share, even though its partners aren’t all ready, said people familiar with the matter. The messaging app will partner with HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd to process the transfers, and State Bank of India will join once it has the necessary systems in place.”


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.”



Kakao Pay reports 1m users of its blockchain-based mobile identity service

Kakao Pay’s blockchain-based authentication boasts 1m users — Yonhap News — “Users of KakaoTalk, South Korea’s top mobile messenger, can use the authentication service on the mobile messenger without having to download an application. A total of 20 institutions and companies, including insurer AIA Life Korea and the Korea Transportation Safety Authority, use the service, Kakao Pay said, adding that it plans to expand the service.”


Google adds chat feature to Tez mobile payments app

Google integrates chat option on Tez payments app — Economic Times — “Google has integrated a chat option in the Google Tez application and is slowly rolling it out to its 13.5 million active users, taking the competition directly to WhatsApp… The payment application which runs on the Unified Payments Interface railroads will now allow consumers to not only send money to each other but also open up an option for conversation around the transaction.”


Mastercard lets small businesses sign up for mobile payments via Facebook Messenger

Mastercard uses Facebook Messenger to help small businesses go digital — Mastercard — “To get started, businesses can send a request to the bot to enable QR payments, receive approval from the bank, set up an account and start accepting digital payments in a fast, simple and secure manner. Once the account setup process is complete, business owners can print and display the QR code in their stores or save the code on their phones… This Messenger experience will launch in Nigeria”


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.”



Commonwealth Bank introduces chatbot that can answer 200 banking and payments questions

Commonwealth Bank launches chatbot named Ceba — Commonwealth Bank of Australia — “Commonwealth Bank has launched its chatbot Ceba to assist customers with more than 200 banking tasks such as activating their card, checking account balance, making payments, or getting cardless cash… Available 24/7, Ceba can recognise approximately 60,000 different ways customers ask for the 200 banking tasks and will eventually be able to tell customers what they are spending their money on.”


Westpac integrates mobile banking app with iMessage

Westpac launches iMessage shortcut for customers — Westpac — “The new capability offers Westpac customers a shortcut to access banking services while texting with contacts on their iPhone. By clicking on the new Westpac icon in their text conversation window, customers will be able to make payments, generate a Cardless Cash code and share their BSB and account details without leaving their text message. Westpac for iMessage is an extension of the Westpac Mobile Banking App. Customers with iMessage enabled on their iPhone with iOS 11 and the latest version of the Westpac app (v8.4) will be able to use the capability.”


Messaging service Line looks to cryptocurrencies for payments

Line explores cryptocurrencies for payment services, sources say — Bloomberg — “The messaging provider is in discussions with multiple companies on using cryptocurrencies for payment services including Line Pay, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The broader goal is to create products that keep users within Line’s ecosystem and keep them coming back to the app, increasing ‘stickiness,’ they said.”


Messaging app Line reports 40m mobile payment users

A Line Pay milestone: 10 million transactions monthly — Line — “Line announced today that Line Pay, a ‘smartphone wallet’ service for the Line platform, has reached 10m global transactions per month as of the end of October 2017. Along with that major milestone, Line Pay has also achieved ¥55bn (approximately US$482m) worth of transactions monthly — or some ¥300bn cumulative from Jan 1 to Nov 2, 2017… Line Pay has also reached 40 million global registered users.”


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.”


Facebook expands Messenger P2P payments to the UK

Facebook Messenger payments comes to UK — BBC News — “Facebook has chosen the UK as the first country outside the US to get its Messenger payments service… David Marcus, who runs Messenger, says it is obvious from our messages that we need this. ‘More and more people are having conversations on Messenger about paying one another,’ he explains. ‘As a result it’s a very natural place for you to have the most frictionless and secure way of paying each other.'”


Facebook’s WhatsApp to offer in-chat payments in India

WhatsApp in-chat payments feature is bad news for digital wallets, payment companies in India — FactorDaily — “Instant messenger WhatsApp is readying an intuitive in-chat payments feature, ahead of a likely December launch in India… This will be the first time that WhatsApp is introducing the payments feature anywhere in the world… The Facebook-owned company has partnered with three banks – State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, three of India’s biggest banks, to launch the feature, FactorDaily has also learned.”


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