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    Reuters

    News about Reuters.

    R3 investment details take shape

    November 24th, 2016

    Blockchain consortium R3 has reduced the amount it aims to raise from bank members in its first large round of equity funding to US$150m from US$200m, Reuters reports. More than 90% of its original 42 bank members have expressed an interest in investing, but Goldman Sachs and Banco Santander, both original participants, are not renewing their memberships, it adds. Morgan Stanley and National Australia Bank meanwhile are also not participating.

    Walmart Pay to add more payment options

    November 8th, 2016

    US supermarket giant Walmart is in talks with “several mobile wallet companies” to offer more payment options within its Walmart Pay QR code-based mobile payment service, the retailer tells Reuters. Walmart announced a deal with JPMorgan Chase last week that will allow its shoppers to check out through Walmart Pay using Chase Pay.

    US banks unveil money-transfer app

    October 24th, 2016

    America’s biggest banks have launched a money-transfer app to compete with PayPal, Venmo and Square Cash, Reuters reports. Zelle, developed by bank-owned Early Warning Services, is built on top of a payments network that connects the country’s five biggest banks — and others — including Chase, Citi and Bank of America. Another 20 banks will be added early next year. “This is about creating a wide, and inclusive, alternative to cash and checks for everyone,” says Early Warning Services chief executive Paul Finch.

    US banks told to improve cyber security

    October 24th, 2016

    Bank regulators in the US have outlined cyber security standards designed to protect financial markets and consumers from online attacks against the nation’s financial firms, Reuters reports. Leading banks will be expected to use the most sophisticated anti-hacking tools on the market and to be able to recover from any attack within two hours. Banks with assets of at least US$50bn must satisfy new rules that will be finalized “in the months ahead”.

    Ant Financial readying VR payments

    October 13th, 2016

    Alibaba affiliate and Alipay parent company Ant Financial is readying a virtual reality (VR) payment experience that will allow shoppers to pay with a nod of the head. “People using virtual reality goggles to browse virtual reality shopping malls will be able to pay for purchases without taking off the goggles,” Reuters reports. “User identity can be verified on VR Pay via account logins on connected devices or via voice print technology.” VR Pay is expected to be ready for commercial launch by the end of the year. Reports that Alibaba was exploring VR mobile payments emerged in August 2016.

    Mastercard planning to become a PSP in China

    July 25th, 2016

    Mastercard is planning to apply to become a payment service provider (PSP) in China this year but is still deciding whether to do so alone or with a partner, according to Reuters. “China in June allowed foreign payment card companies to operate in the country under new rules,” the publication reports. “Under the rules, China’s national security and cyber security standards must be met. Applicants must also hold 1 billion yuan (US$150m) in registered capital in a local company.”

    Square preparing for European launch

    July 20th, 2016

    Mobile POS provider Square has incorporated a business called Squareup Europe in the UK, suggesting that the company could be setting itself up for its first European launch. “Squareup Europe has permission to provide payment services such as transactions with or without credit lines in Britain,” Reuters reports. “Square began beta testing of its payments system in London last month to prepare for an initial launch in Britain.”

    Alipay parent company seeks expansion overseas

    June 20th, 2016

    Alipay parent company Ant Financial is seeking to buy a 20% stake in Thai online payment provider Ascend Money and to increase its stake to 30% at a later date. “Ascend’s subsidiaries include True Money, an online payment service provider, and Ascend Nano, a licensed financial services provider,” Reuters reports. “Ant Financial, whose Alipay payment platform dominates the online payments industry in China, is looking to expand its presence overseas.”

    Apple Pay’s global impact remains “small”

    June 3rd, 2016

    Apple Pay has “made only a small dent in the global payments market” due to technical challenges, low consumer take-up and resistance from banks, according to a report by Reuters. “Apple Pay usage totaled US$10.9bn last year, the vast majority of that in the US,” the publication says, citing research from Timetric. “That is less than the annual volume of transactions in Kenya, a mobile payments pioneer.”

    Sweatcoin pays Brits to get fit

    May 6th, 2016

    UK consumers will soon be rewarded whenever they are physically active with Sweatcoin — a virtual currency that can be earned by exercising and then exchanged at select retailers via a mobile app set to launch next week. “Sweatcoin offers one coin for every 1,000 steps,” Reuters reports. “Within weeks, users can have enough to exchange for fitness products or services in its marketplace. Rewards include Vivobarefoot running shoes, Kumira infra-red clothing and fitness classes from Wonderush or BoomCycle.”

    ICBC confirms Apple Pay launch date in China

    February 17th, 2016

    Customers of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) will be able to use Apple Pay from 18 February, the bank has confirmed in a series of tweets reported by Reuters. China Guangfa Bank and China Construction Bank are also expected to offer the service to customers from launch.

    Samsung Pay to add online payments

    January 4th, 2016

    Samsung is to expand Samsung Pay to both online payments and down-range smartphones in the US this year, according to Reuters. “Lower-priced Samsung phones will likely start offering the mobile wallet within the next year,” Samsung’s Thomas Ko told the news agency. “Online payment support is coming soon.” The company’s plans to add the service to mid- and low-end handsets emerged in November 2015.

    Target to launch its own mobile payment service?

    December 18th, 2015

    US retail giant Target is in the early stages of developing its own mobile payment service. “Target’s team has taken some important decisions such as partnering with credit card companies,” Reuters reports. “The mobile wallet could launch as early as next year.” Target is the latest member of retailer-led consortium MCX to show interest in launching its own mobile payment service, following in the footsteps of Walmart which launched Walmart Pay earlier this month.

    Apple Pay yet to sign up key Australian banks

    December 11th, 2015

    Apple is struggling to persuade Australia’s big banks to sign up for Apple Pay, according to Reuters. “The firm has yet to strike a deal with any of the four main banks — ANZ, National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank and Westpac,” the news agency reports. “That sets it adrift from 80% of consumers using mobile payments systems linked to other credit cards.” Apple Pay launched in Australia in November 2015 with support from American Express.

    MCX expands CurrentC pilot

    October 29th, 2015

    US retailer-led mobile wallet consortium MCX, which announced a deal earlier this week to support JP Morgan Chase’s new Chase Pay service, is expanding its Columbus, Ohio pilot to include 200 stores operated by “12 large retailers”. “MCX may expand the test gradually to other states in the first quarter of next year,” CEO Brian Mooney has told Reuters. “Customers who have used the product are using it more than once a week,” Mooney said.

    Tech firms face more regulation on payment services

    September 24th, 2015

    Regulators are looking more closely at whether technology companies that provide financial services should be supervised more heavily, according to HSBC chairman Douglas Flint. “Regulators all around the world are reflecting on the extent to which internet companies are conducting banking business and at which point they should be licensed as a bank,” Flint said, as reported by Reuters.

    Ingenico joins WorldPay bidding war

    September 1st, 2015

    Point-of-sale terminal maker Ingenico has submitted a bid for UK-based payment processor WorldPay. “WorldPay is heading for a London stock market flotation in autumn that could value it at around £6bn (US$9.24bn), but has been targeted by several private equity and rival firms,” Reuters reports. The news follows a Bloomberg report last week that claimed Germany’s Wirecard has also joined the bidding.

    China moves to open up mobile payments services

    August 4th, 2015

    People’s Bank of China has proposed new regulations that could force internet companies Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu to offer each others’ online payment services alongside their own. “If payment services from social networking and online entertainment firm Tencent and search firm Baidu are offered on Alibaba’s ecommerce sites, users could opt to use those,” Reuters reports. “Alternatively, Alipay could cement its dominance if customers opt to use it on rivals’ platforms.”

    Samsung smartwatches to support Samsung Pay?

    June 8th, 2015

    Samsung is planning to offer Samsung Pay mobile payments on the smartwatch devices it is scheduled to launch in the second half of this year. “Samsung would use NFC technology to support mobile payments on the smartwatch,” Reuters reports, citing South Korea’s Electronic Times newspaper. Samsung managing director Park Jin-young hinted that the service may work on its smartwatches during the company’s April 2015 first quarter earnings call.

    Less than a quarter of top US retailers accept Apple Pay

    June 5th, 2015

    Fewer than a quarter of the National Retail Federation’s list of the top 100 US retailers are now accepting Apple Pay, with nearly two-thirds saying they will not be accepting it this year and only four saying they have plans to add support in the next 12 months, research conducted by Reuters has found. “Some merchants said they were holding out because they plan to participate in a new mobile payment system to be launched by a coalition of retailers later this year,” reports the news agency.

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