Wall Street Journal
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November 9th, 2016
Samsung is considering adding a dedicated button for an improved artificial intelligence feature for its next flagship smartphone, the Wall Street Journal reports. The latest internal prototypes of the premium Galaxy S8 handset include a button on the side edge that would be used to launch a beefed-up virtual assistant similar to Apple’s Siri. Samsung introduced a virtual-assistant service, S Voice, in 2012 in its Galaxy S3 smartphone but hasn’t announced any major updates to the service since.
September 1st, 2016
Early Warning’s bank-led digital payments network ClearXChange is set to change its name to Zelle. “The banks plan to launch the new brand at a payments industry conference in October,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “The new name has been in the works for several months and could still change if last minute difficulties arise.” ClearXChange was made available to all member financial institutions in June 2015.
August 11th, 2016
Alipay customers will soon be able to make mobile payments at Ingenico point of sale terminals across Europe, according to the Wall Street Journal. “While no investment will occur, a person familiar with the offline collaboration said Ingenico will receive service charges from Alipay and expects to see transaction volume grow,” the publication reports. Alipay announced its plans to enter Europe back in April.
June 28th, 2016
US supermarket chain Kroger has filed a lawsuit against Visa for allowing customers to verify EMV purchases with a signature instead of a PIN. “Kroger said the dispute began after it was informed by Visa that the configuration of its new terminals didn’t comply with Visa’s rules,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Visa’s rules require merchants to allow customers to choose between a PIN and a signature verification.” Walmart also sued the payment network for its EMV signature authentication option in May 2016.
June 27th, 2016
Amazon is to announce that it is adding “dozens of new brands” to its Dash push-button ordering devices despite “evidence that consumers are cool to them”, The Wall Street Journal reports. “Fewer than half of people who bought a Dash button since March 2015 have used it to place an actual order, estimates Slice Intelligence,” the publication says. “Those consumers who do order make a purchase roughly once every two months.” The Dash Replenishment Service was launched in January 2016.
March 22nd, 2016
Handset maker Huawei has partnered with bank card association China UnionPay for the roll out of Huawei Pay, an NFC-based mobile payment service that makes use of tokenization technology and is expected to be available on a wide range of Huawei handsets.
March 18th, 2016
Luxury watchmaker Swatch will focus its smartwatch activities on its plastic Swatch brand before considering the technology for its pricier models. “Making progress in the smartwatch market is crucial for Swatch, which is seen as the most vulnerable of the Swiss watchmakers to inroads by the Apple Watch and similar watches produced by Samsung Electronics and others,” The Wall Street Journal reports. The company launched its first NFC payments watch, the Swatch Bellamy, in China in October 2015.
March 8th, 2016
Alipay parent Ant Financial is planning to raise up to 20bn yuan (US$3.1bn) in its current funding round at a valuation of more than $50bn, according to The Wall Street Journal. “The fresh funding will give the operator of popular Chinese online payments platform Alipay more financial muscle as it buys stakes in businesses ranging from a Chinese lottery company to China’s Postal Savings Bank,” the publication says. “It also sets the stage for Ant Financial’s future initial public offering — bankers expect it as early as 2017.”
November 24th, 2015
Apple is planning to launch Apple Pay in China by 8 February 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal. “The Cupertino company has struck deals recently with China’s big four state-run banks,” the publication reports. “The effort could still face regulatory hurdles in China, where banking and ecommerce are overseen by a number of government agencies.” Reports that Apple Pay had “hit bumps” in China first emerged in February 2015.
November 12th, 2015
Apple is reportedly holding discussions with US banks about developing a payment service that would let users send money to one another from their phones through Apple Pay. “The talks with banks are continuing and it is unclear if any of the firms have struck an agreement with Apple,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Key details remain in flux, including technical aspects that would determine how the service would tie into the banking industry’s existing infrastructure.”
August 12th, 2015
Mobile payments consortium MCX will test its CurrentC mobile wallet in Columbus, Ohio, in the coming weeks, The Wall Street Journal reports. Plans for the pilot were unveiled in July, after MCX unveiled the CurrentC brand in September 2014 and said it would launch in a “mid-sized market” in April. Member retailer Rite Aid says it will accept Apple Pay and other mobile payment services from August 15.
July 31st, 2015
A second version of Google Glass is in the works and will be “released soon”, according to the CEO of Italian eyewear maker Luxottica. “The partnership to build Glass is going ahead, said Massimo Vian, speaking at the company’s general meeting in Milan,” WSJ reports. Google stopped selling the first version of Glass and shut its Explorer program earlier this year.
July 6th, 2015
McDonald’s is to begin piloting a mobile ordering and payment service in China in the third quarter of this year, with the aim of speeding payments and to meet consumer demand. “Given Chinese consumers being so digital, we are now preparing,” a spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. The news follows fast food chain KFC’s partnership with Alipay to accept mobile payments in nearly 5,000 locations.
June 8th, 2015
Google won’t earn any transaction fees from credit card issuers for Android Pay, unlike Apple which receives 0.15% of the value of each credit card transaction made with Apple Pay, sources have told The Wall Street Journal.“That is because Visa and MasterCard recently standardised their tokenization card-security service and made it free, preventing payments services from charging fees to issuers,” the newspaper reports.
June 1st, 2015
Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group is to launch its NFC smartwatch in two countries this summer, Switzerland and “one big country”, CEO Nick Hayek revealed during the company’s annual general meeting. “He didn’t elaborate on the big country for the launch, but it is likely to be either the US or China,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
May 18th, 2015
Google is expected to add buy buttons to search results pages on mobile devices in the coming weeks that will guide consumers to product pages where they can pick sizes, colours and shipping options before completing a purchase. “The buttons will accompany sponsored or paid search results, often displayed under a ‘Shop on Google’ heading at the top of the page,” WSJ reports. “Retailers including Macy’s are in talks with Google about taking part in the launch.”
April 15th, 2015
March 9th, 2015
February 23rd, 2015
Google is in a new round of discussions with mobile network operators to get its Google Wallet payments service widely distributed on mobile devices, the Wall Street Journal reports, with incentives on offer believed to include paying carriers to feature Google Wallet prominently on their Android phones and, potentially, a share of advertising revenues. Google first discussed collaborating on Google Wallet with carriers around the world in 2012. Its renewed interest is believed to be driven by a need to compete with both Apple Pay and a widely anticipated Samsung Pay service.
December 17th, 2014
The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) in the US is developing a smartphone-based driver’s license using an app that would co-exist with traditional plastic cards, WSJ reports. How the service will work and when it will be launched remain unclear however, due to concerns surrounding privacy and security. Iowa DOT is now focusing on working out how police and transportation officers will be able to interact with the mobile licenses and on ways to prevent fakes.