Government of Montserrat signs up for digital currency pilot

Premier Romeo signs MOU to create a digital payments ecosystem in Montserrat — Government of Montserrat — “The people of Montserrat will benefit from increased financial inclusion, and a significant reduction in their need for cash to make payments for goods and services, or as a means of saving. Anyone with a smartphone, tablet or computer, will now be able to conduct these domestic transactions securely, efficiently, digitally.”


Dutch banks ING and Rabobank begin QR code payments pilot

ING and Rabobank customers can now try out Payconiq — Payconiq — “Payconiq allows their users to simply pay online and in-stores by scanning a QR code. Thanks to a direct connection with the user’s bank account, transactions can be swiftly processed against low costs for the merchants… Consumers can already pay at over 45,000 merchants in Belgium and Luxembourg and soon in Germany where Payconiq has been released earlier this month.”


Walmart expands Scan & Go mobile self-checkout pilot to 100 more stores

Why We’re Helping More Customers Scan and Go — Walmart — “The app allows customers to scan and bag items, including produce, while they shop and pay directly with their phones… Once customers are done shopping and have paid for their items, they simply walk through the Mobile Express lane on their way out… Customers see the price of individual items as they scan them along with a running total.”


Walt Disney World to pilot cashless resort concept

Walt Disney World to test cashless resort concept at Animal Kingdom Lodge in February — WDW News Today — “Walt Disney World will be testing a cashless environment at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge during a limited pilot program beginning February 12th, 2018. Jambo House at the Resort will be the first location to accept electronic payment only for all purchases and services… Valid forms of payments that will be accepted include MagicBands, credit cards, debit cards, Disney Gift Cards, Disney Rewards Redemption Cards and electronic payments methods such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay.”


LA Metro to offer incentives to NFC mobile ticketing users

Metro plans to roll out new smartphone payment app later this year — Curbed — “The system is expected to be ready for testing this summer, with a full rollout planned for the fall, says Metro spokesperson Rick Jager… Promotions will be available for frequent riders. Jager says these might include incentives for users choosing to ride public transit on smoggy days or a system by which riders could earn points or ‘medallions’ when paying for trips.”


ABN Amro to test contactless payment rings, watches, bracelets and keyrings

ABN Amro clients invited to test new wearables as payment method — ABN Amro — “ABN Amro is taking the next step in testing new wearables as a payment method with 500 of its clients. After prior successful internal tests in 2017, clients can now experience what it’s like to make contactless payments with a ring, watch, bracelet or keyring. ABN Amro is the first bank to enable worldwide payment with a wearable that’s linked to a current account. As from today, sign-ups are open for clients to participate in a four-month pilot.”


China’s central bank to begin testing QR code payments registration and settlement regulations from April

China’s central bank to standardize QR code payment — Xinhua — “The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced plans Wednesday to regulate QR code payment to contain risks arising from the popular service. Payment institutions must obtain proper permits to offer barcode-based payment services, according to a document released by the PBOC. Both banks and non-banking payment institutions must channel cross-bank transactions involving barcodes through the clearing system of the PBOC or other legal clearing houses… The standards will be put into trial use from April.”


Guangzhou pilot lets consumers use WeChat to create an official digital ID

WeChat poised to become China’s official electronic ID system — South China Morning Post — “The WeChat ID programme was co-developed by the research institute of the Ministry of Public Security and Tencent’s WeChat team, and supported by various banks and several other government departments. The project is expected to help deter online identity theft, as facial recognition technology is used to verify applicants before their virtual ID cards get authorised. Those verified will be able to use their WeChat ID to register in hotels and apply for government services without the need of bringing their physical ID cards.”


Seat tests grocery deliveries direct to customers’ cars

Seat and Saba present Droppit, the app that delivers your grocery shopping directly to your parked car — Seat — “The six-month pilot test of this project, in collaboration with virtual supermarket Deliberry and courier company Glovo, will be carried out in two car parks managed by Saba in the city of Barcelona… The customer leaves their car keys with Saba staff, who are responsible for accompanying the delivery person, identifying the car and placing the order in it. In the future, the aim is to make the process easier using technology that enables the service providers to access cars using fingerprint recognition supported by the app itself.”



Australian merchants to accept payments on their mobile phones — with no additional hardware required

CBA launches hardware-less payments app for SMBs — The Australian Financial Review — “Commonwealth Bank will bring a new mobile payments technology to market in Australia that enables small businesses to accept credit card payments of up to A$100 on their Samsung devices, without any other hardware…. A pilot program is expected to kick off in early 2018, with the smartphone payments platform to be rolled out commercially by mid next year.”


Indola adds NFC tags to professional hair styling products

Henkel launches NFC pilot with Indola #SimplySmarter — Henkel Adhesive Technologies — “With a volume of 100,000 products to be rolled out in 35 different countries, Indola #SimplySmarter is one of the largest NFC pilots in the beauty care market to date… Professional hairstylists can simply tap the Indola product with a NFC-enabled smartphone and a landing page pops up immediately. It displays product information, how-to videos by celebrity ambassadors, and most importantly, a curated Instagram wall that is refreshed regularly to inspire and connect professional hairstylists all over the world.”


Wells Fargo to offer mobile-first bank accounts

Wells Fargo announces a mobile-first banking experience to encourage financial health — Wells Fargo — “Combining personal finance management tools with Wells Fargo banking, the Greenhouse experience will help consumers pay bills on time, spend confidently, and start to build a savings cushion — all while providing personalized insights through artificial intelligence to help them stay on track. Greenhouse, a standalone mobile app, will be available in a limited, national pilot in the first quarter of 2018 and will launch for Apple iPhone users during the first half of 2018.”


Capital One rolls out Eno chatbot to credit card and banking customers

What we learned about what our chatbot learned — Capital One — “In March at SXSW 2017, Capital One launched an invite-only pilot of Eno, the first natural language SMS chatbot from a US bank. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Eno has emerged from the pilot and is now available to text with millions of Capital One US credit card and bank customers.”


Japanese banks to pilot blockchain-based mobile payments service

Fujitsu to conduct blockchain field trial of money transfer service with three major Japanese banks — Fujitsu — “Fujitsu will develop a cloud-based blockchain platform for money transfers between individuals that can be jointly used by these three major banks, as well as a smartphone application that allows users to easily handle the different steps for sending money and for making deposits and withdrawals.”


German savings banks to roll out mobile payments in 2018

G+D Mobile Security enables the German savings banks finance group to provide mobile payment for their member banks — Giesecke & Devrient — “Prior to the commercial launch next year, a mobile payment pilot program with ten issuing savings banks went live in September. With this pilot, the savings banks will test the functionality, operations and user experience of the end-to-end mobile payment solution. In the nationwide commercial phase, Girocard mobile (Girocard is the most used payment card in Germany) and other schemes will be supported.”


AirPlus staff test cards with built-in fingerprint readers

AirPlus pilots biometric corporate card — Business Travel News — “Payments provider AirPlus is testing a biometric corporate card for which users can use a fingerprint rather than a pin at checkout, AirPlus head of research and development Uli Danz told BTN… The card may not be available to clients for a while because, as Danz told BTN, “in the credit card business there are a lot of rules, and the rules are not yet set for biometrics or fingerprints on card.”


UK supermarket pilots self-checkout service that lets shoppers scan and pay by smartphone

Sainsbury’s to launch app which helps customers avoid checkout queues — The Independent — “Sainsbury’s are currently testing the app at their London Euston station store meaning that shoppers can buy the £3 ‘On the Go’ meal deal by simply scanning the products and paying using their phone. As soon as payment is confirmed, customers are free to leave the store without the hassle of time-consuming queues.”


Central Bank of Uruguay to run mobile currency pilot

Uruguayan central bank to test digital currency — Latin American Herald Tribune — “‘Instead of carrying around a leather wallet with paper currency,’ people will load electronic currency onto their mobile phones. ‘It’s not that you use the phone to order money transfers, as is done today, but having bills in the cellular and being able to pass them on from one user to another’… Digital bills will be used ‘exactly the same’ as paper bills.”



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