News about Reuters.
February 27th, 2017
Google Assistant will be made available to all phones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating systems, Reuters reports. The virtual assistant will roll out this week to English speakers in the US, followed by Australia, Canada, the UK and German speakers in Germany. The company “is working on support for additional languages”, the news service adds. Google Assistant had previously only been available on Google’s own Pixel brand phones.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
February 17th, 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.