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.”



Korean card companies to launch joint NFC payments service in bid to combat Chinese QR threat

Korean credit card companies to introduce a joint mobile payment system in March — Business Korea — “Eight domestic credit card firms have completed the development of NFC standard ‘Justouch’ and will jointly promote it by supplying 25,000 readers across the nation by the end of next month… They are concerned about the possibility of Chinese counterparts encroaching on the domestic market if they don’t take action now as mobile payment is very common in China.”


Alipay parent Ant Financial to go public at a $100bn valuation?

China’s Ant plans equity fundraising at potential $100 billion valuation — Reuters — “China’s Ant Financial Services Group is planning to raise up to US$5bn (£3.59bn) in fresh equity that could value the online payments giant at more than US$100bn… A fundraising would bring Ant, in which e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is taking a one-third stake, a step closer to a hotly anticipated initial public offering.”


Alibaba takes 33% stake in Alipay operator Ant Financial

Alibaba agrees to 33% stake in Ant Financial — Alibaba — “An equity stake in Ant Financial will bring key strategic benefits to Alibaba, including advancing its New Retail strategy with mobile payments, increasing user acquisition and retention through collaboration with the Alipay digital wallet (“Alipay Wallet”), and enhancing the execution of the international expansion… Upon closing, the companies will terminate the current profit-sharing arrangement under which Ant Financial pays royalty and technology service fees in an amount equal to 37.5% of its pre-tax profits to Alibaba.”


Huawei Pay targets Eastern European launches

UnionPay International and Huawei sign global cooperation agreement — UnionPay International — “Next, UnionPay International and Huawei plan to launch Huawei Pay in more markets along the Belt and Road, especially in the Eastern Europe… Huawei Pay now supports the bank cards issued by 66 issuers and is available with 20 terminal devices including mobile phones and watches… In 2017, the transaction volume via Huawei Pay exceeded RMB4bn (US$632m).”


Softbank to launch new global digital payments system?

Softbank plots digital payments raid with plans for Paypal rival — City AM — “Japanese technology giant Softbank is planning to create a global digital payments system that could rival giants such as PayPal, according to reports. The tech firm will lead a consortium backed by some of the world’s biggest banks… Under the plan, Softbank could acquire a large financial software business as a springboard to rolling out the new system.”


ABN Amro pulls out of Dutch banks’ mobile payment venture

ABN Amro and Payconiq discontinue collaboration talks — ABN Amro — “ABN Amro and payment service Payconiq have decided to end their talks to explore potential for collaboration… ABN Amro has made strategic choices of its own that impact the way the bank aims to serve its clients’ interests. For example, ABN Amro is further expanding the functionality of its popular payment request app, Tikkie, to retail and business clients.”


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.”


Taiwan to provide mobile payment adoption incentives

Taiwan outlines measures to promote mobile payment usage — Focus Taiwan — “Premier Lai Ching-te on Tuesday urged government agencies to earmark spending to subsidize transaction fees in a way that makes the use of mobile payments for in-store purchases more attractive to consumers… The government has set itself the target of 90% of mobile phone users using mobile payments by 2025, a major increase from the current level of 13%.”


Gemalto agrees to be acquired by Thales

Thales and Gemalto create a world leader in digital security — Gemalto — “Thales and Gemalto announce today that they have reached an agreement on a recommended all-cash offer for all issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Gemalto… The Gemalto board has decided to unanimously support the transaction and recommend that Gemalto’s shareholders accept the offer and vote in favour of the resolutions relating to the offer at the upcoming extraordinary general meeting.”





Paytm CEO sets out plans to become the world’s largest digital bank

Alibaba-backed Paytm aims to become world’s largest digital bank — Bloomberg — “Paytm Payments Bank aims to create the world’s largest digital bank with 500m accounts, envisioning an online financial services provider of everything from wealth management to credit cards and stock market trading… The bank grew out of Paytm’s digital wallet, which amassed over a hundred million customers after India took high-denomination bills — or nearly 90% of the value of cash — out of circulation last November.”


UK government unveils plans for smart ticketing on railways

Connecting people: A strategic vision for rail — Department for Transport — “Our aim for 2018 is that, by the end of the year, both ITSO and barcode tickets will be accepted for travel on almost all of the network… We also expect much of the industry to offer smart cards that can be held in digital ‘wallets’ on mobile phones… We expect in the medium-term wider use of mobile phone-based ticketing, and in the longer-term to explore options that don’t require a physical check of tickets.”


Indian government sets out plans to make digital payments ‘visibly cheaper’ than cash

Govt to incentivise online payments to push digital transactions — Hindustan Times — “The incentives could include cashbacks and reward points for BHIM users… The note presented last week by the ministry of electronics and information technology to Parliament’s standing committee on finance detailed a five-step road map to push e-transactions. ‘Digital payments to be made visibly cheaper than cash,’ the note said.


Paytm to invest US$1bn in building out its payments business

Paytm plans $1 billion top-up to cash in on note ban success — Times of India — “Sharma said they were looking at a three-pronged strategy to double the number of users in the coming year by converting Paytm users to its payments bank, tap into non-wallet users through UPI and sell financial products from next year. ‘Long ago, we realised that standalone payments as a business is an orphan and thus we are building a bouquet of products,’ Sharma said.”




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