Facebook to launch Messenger payments in India

Facebook ready to enter payments in India, begins beta with recharges on Messenger — FactorDaily — “Two sources in the know of the development told FactorDaily that Facebook has been quietly working on building a payments platform, which is independent of WhatsApp payments. ‘The platform will be separate from WhatsApp and will allow peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant payments,’ said the first source.”



Charity to roll out contactless donation screens following successful three week pilot

Contactless donations project raises thousands for homeless in Cardiff — Wales Online — “The interactive window in the city centre allows passers-by to tap their card on the screen and donate £2 (US$2.85) to homeless charities… A total of 430 kind-hearted shoppers in Cardiff swiped their contactless cards to give money to the homeless in just three weeks… Following its success during the trial in March the Give DIFFerently campaign now hopes to roll out more contactless points across the city.”


Google’s mobile payments app has now been installed 100m times

Google Pay hits 100m installs on the Play Store — Android Police — “100m is impressive, but it may not be nearly as impressive as you’re imagining. For instance, Google Pay uses the same Play Store listing and APK pname (com.google.android.apps.walletnfcrel) as Android Pay, which Android Pay continued to use from Google Wallet. Additionally, Google Wallet/Android Pay/Google Pay has been pre-installed on quite a few devices.”



Japanese airline ANA to enter mobile payments market

Japan airline ANA aims to build digital payments business — Financial Times — “The plan is part of a broader digital push by ANA, which hopes to build on data collected from the 31m users of its airline miles to provide a range of services including real estate, insurance and health to consumers across Japan… ‘We are aiming for ANA’s version of Alibaba’s Alipay,’ Shinya Katanozaka, ANA’s chief executive, said in an interview.”


Samsung Pay rolls out its rewards program in India

Samsung Rewards now rolling out to Samsung Pay users in India — Financial Express — “Samsung India on Thursday rolled out Samsung Rewards for the users of its mobile payments service Samsung Pay in India where they can collect and redeem ‘points’ to purchase the company’s devices. The programme is already available for Samsung Pay users in other global markets, including South Korea, the US, China, Spain, Singapore, Australia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Russia, Thailand and Malaysia.”


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.”


Washington Metro to accept mobile payments from 2019

Metro moves to become mobile ready, announces plans to offer new app, mobile fare payment options beginning next year — Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority — “The new mobile fare payment platform will work with Metro’s existing infrastructure, eventually allowing customers to tap their mobile device to the white target at the faregate. The payment process is designed to be seamless and will have a similar experience to tapping a SmarTrip card today.”


Dutch supermarket chain opens cashless store

Spar Netherlands opens first cashless store — Retail Systems — “Called ‘Skippen’, or Skipping in English, the new concept enables students who download the accompanying app to purchase goods in-store without having to queue for a cash register. Shoppers simply scan items into their shopping cart via a QR code, before completing the payment with Tikkie — ABN Amro’s online payment solution.”


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.”


Fake QR code payment scammers arrested in China

Chinese market targeted by scammers who set up fake QR codes to divert payments — South China Morning Post — “A food market in China has been targeted by scammers who used fake QR codes to divert mobile payments into their own account… Three men have been arrested on suspicion of printing out small pieces of paper with the QR codes on them and then sticking them over 60 codes used by traders in Nanjing… The three unemployed men — who were only identified by their surnames Zhao, Zhu and Zhang — reportedly told police they had been inspired by a friend who had made money this way.”


Four in five Americans want to use one platform to manage all their finances

Digital is the new language of money: Americans predict payment apps will move to the top spot in their wallet and would like to manage their financial lives in one place — Koski Research — “Americans predict that apps will be the most common in-person payment type in five years… More than four in five Americans (84%) say they are interested in managing their money from one online central platform for deposits, spending, and saving.”



Starbucks rolls out voice ordering and payments in Korea

Starbucks Korea debuts voice ordering through Samsung’s Bixby — Starbucks — “Bixby allows My Starbucks Rewards customers in South Korea to place an order and pay through voice recognition ‘on command’. The feature allows customers to speak just as if they were talking to a barista in-store, including modifying their beverage to meet their personal preference… These features are an extension of Starbucks Siren Order, the company’s mobile order and pay technology, which allows customers in South Korea to order and pay for their purchases before arriving at their store.”


Juniper predicts 2.1bn mobile wallet users in 2019

PayPal leads mobile wallet rankings as users forecast to pass 2bn next year — Juniper Research — “Nearly 2.1 billion consumers worldwide will use a mobile wallet to make a payment or send money in 2019, up by nearly 30% on the 1.6 billion recorded at the end of 2017… The report also argued that while QR code-based in-store payments had seen quite astonishing levels of adoption in China, successful use cases in Europe and North America were likely to be limited to ‘closed loop’ wallets such as those deployed by Starbucks and Walmart.”


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.”


China goes live with QR payments spending cap

China caps store mobile payments at $80 — Nikkei Asian Review — “The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, implemented the caps on Sunday for different types of QR code payments, based on relative risk. For payments made by scanning a printed QR code displayed by the seller, the daily limit is set at 500 yuan (about US$80)… Such popular services as Alibaba Group Holding’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay are affected.”


Apple faces pushback from iPhone users over Apple Pay ‘pestering’

iPhone users are pestered to enroll in Apple Pay — Wall Street Journal — “Apple Inc is nagging iPhone users to enroll in its mobile payment service with a persistent red-circle badge. The strategy has worked with some, but is irritating others who say it is heavy-handed and exploits the tech giant’s clout in ways that could disadvantage rivals… Users who opt not to input credit card information for Apple Pay when setting up their phones now constantly see the red circle over their settings icon.”


Apple Pay goes live in Brazil

Apple Pay arrives in Brazil, partnering with Itaú Unibanco — Reuters — “Apple Inc’s mobile payment platform Apple Pay arrived in Brazil on Wednesday with an exclusive partnership with Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, the country’s largest private lender. The bank said Apple Pay will be available during the 90-day exclusive period to Itaú’s roughly 1.2 million card holders who also own an iPhone 6 or higher. Under the terms of the partnership, Brazilian retailers such as GPA SA will offer discounts on purchases using Apple Pay.”


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