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April 13, 2022

On the wires

April 5, 2022

On the web

Google Play Crackdown Makes Amazon, Barnes & Noble Pull Digital Purchases

Ars Technica

“The great Google Play billing crackdown is finally here. Developers selling digital goods inside their Android apps all need to switch to Google Play billing, or they will be locked out of the Play Store. This has technically always been the rule at Google Play, but it went mostly unenforced until Google gave developers a deadline of September 2021 to get on board.”

March 25, 2022

On the wires

March 24, 2022

On the web

Walmart Sues BJ’s Wholesale Claiming It Stole Self-checkout Technology


Walmart and its big-box warehouse subsidiary Sam’s Club accused rival retailer BJ’s Wholesale Club in a lawsuit filed Tuesday of stealing technology that powers a popular self-checkout option in the Sam’s Club mobile app. The suit, filed in federal court, claims Walmart worked for years to develop Scan & Go, a feature that lets Sam’s Club customers ring up purchases on their smartphones while walking through the store, allowing them to avoid a checkout line.”

Google to Allow Alternative In-App Payments for Spotify Users, a New Step in App Battle

Wall Street Journal

Spotify Technology SA has reached a deal with Google to offer an alternative payment method within its app for users, the latest sign of the weakening grip that app stores have over third-party software. The streaming music service and Alphabet Inc.’s search giant announced the deal Wednesday, allowing Spotify ’s app within the Google Play Store to offer a choice between its alternative payment method and Google’s own, which takes as much as a 30% share of revenue.”

March 21, 2022

On the web

Euroclear Joins Bank-backed Blockchain Payment System


“Securities settlement house Euroclear said on Monday it had joined a consortium of banks building a payment system for tokenised assets in the latest sign of established institutions teaming up with newcomers in crypto tech.Securities settlement house Euroclear said on Monday it had joined a consortium of banks building a payment system for tokenised assets in the latest sign of established institutions teaming up with newcomers in crypto tech.”

March 16, 2022

On the web

7-Eleven Japan Trials Holographic Contactless Self-checkout


“Customers at six 7-Eleven convenience stores in Tokyo, Japan, can now make cashless payments for their purchases by interacting with a holographic screen projected from a contactless self-checkout kiosk. The retail giant is piloting a system that enables customers to scan the products they wish to buy and then select their preferred payment method and confirm the transaction on a ‘floating’ screen without needing to touch the self-checkout kiosk directly.”

March 11, 2022

On the web

EBay Teases ‘Digital Wallet’ in Investor Presentation As Crypto Rumors Swirl


“Online marketplace eBay (EBAY) flashed a “digital wallet” slide early in its Investor Day presentation on Thursday, adding to chatter about what the company’s plans might be with respect to crypto. EBay has floated the idea of crypto payments for some time, most recently in late February when CEO Jamie Iannone told TheStreet the company is studying the potential for accepting cryptocurrency as it aims to be the go-to marketplace for Gen Z and millennials. EBay already allows for the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFT) on its platform.”

March 9, 2022

On the web

Contactless Card Purchases to Exceed 522bn Globally by 2026


“The number of contactless card purchases made worldwide will increase by an average of 23% a year and reach a total of more than 522bn by 2026, up by more than 370bn on the 149bn recorded in 2020, according to a forecast by Retail Banking Research (RBR) . The firm’s ‘Global Cards Data and Forecasts to 2026’ also shows that the number of contactless purchases worldwide increased by 36% in 2020, driven by “many hygiene-conscious consumers gravitating towards contactless payment methods during the pandemic to minimise contact with Eftpos terminals”.”

March 8, 2022

On the wires

Dollar General Adds Enhanced Financial Services

“Dollar General (NYSE: DG) today announced a series of new financial services aimed at increasing access to banking options and providing additional customer payment alternatives. New services include the introduction of Dollar General’s exclusive spendwell™ banking platform, a buy-now, pay-later test program with Sezzle ® and new FIS Worldpay ® card reward points payment options, all of which extend the Company’s value and convenience propositions.”

February 24, 2022

On the web

Whole Foods Market Debuts Just Walk Out Shopping

Progressive Grocer

“Amazon has finally brought Just Walk Out technology to its Whole Foods Market banner. The company has opened its first Whole Foods Market store — at 2323 Wisconsin Ave. N.W. in Washington, D.C.’s Glover Park neighborhood — with cashierless technology.”

U.S. Bancorp Partners With Microsoft to Integrate Payments, Apps


U.S. Bancorp is doubling down on its growing digital-banking operations by partnering with Microsoft Corp. to improve offerings over the internet and on mobile apps. The multiyear partnership is meant to help business customers more easily generate invoices and handle payments, the Minneapolis-based lender said in a statement. Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing business will become U.S. Bancorp’s primary cloud provider, though the bank said it will continue to rely on other firms as well. Terms weren’t disclosed.”

February 23, 2022

On the web

MUFG Shutters One Blockchain Payment Business As It Double’s Down on Another – Ledger Insights – Enterprise Blockchain

Ledger Insights - enterprise blockchain

“Yesterday Japan’s biggest bank, MUFG , announced it is shuttering GO-NET, the IoT payments solution it set up in 2019 as a joint venture with Akamai in which MUFG held an 80% stake. GO-NET targeted high-volume, low-value digital payments such as vending machines or micro-transactions involving IoT devices.  Meanwhile, in an entirely different venture, MUFG Trust’s Progmat blockchain platform will support digital payments through stablecoins issued by multiple banks .”

February 18, 2022

On the web

H&R Block Turns to MX, Galileo to Power Its Spruce Banking App

American Banker

“H&R Block’s challenger bank, Spruce , has chosen the financial data platform MX and Galileo Financial Technologies, a firm that helps challenger banks with payments and digital banking, to provide some components of the technology behind its mobile banking app. The companies announced the partnerships this week. The choices of Galileo and MX provide a look under the hood of this new challenger bank, which is not limited to users of H&R Block but carries the reach and cachet of the brand.”

JPMorgan, Toshiba, Ciena Find New Way to Protect Blockchain With Quantum Network


“A team of quantum computing engineers from JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) , Toshiba Corp (6502.T) and Ciena Corp say they have successfully shown that a powerful, newly-developed encryption network can be used to protect communications on the blockchain, according to a paper published Thursday. The group of researchers say it is the first time that a quantum key distribution (QKD) network, a super-secure two-way communication network powered by quantum physics, has been tested as a way to protect the blockchain from quantum computing attacks.”

February 15, 2022

On the web

Dutch Foundation Seeks Consumer Damages Over Apple, Google App Payments


“Apple (AAPL.O) and Google face a potential class action lawsuit in the Netherlands over app store charges, after a foundation headed by Dutch entrepreneur Alexander Klöpping began gathering claimants. The action, which still faces legal hurdles before any court hearing, reflects growing criticism over how much the two firms charge developers for payments on their app stores, while the Netherlands has become increasingly popular as a jurisdiction to pursue complaints against multinational firms.”

February 10, 2022

On the wires

Jack Henry & Associates Announces Next-Generation Technology Strategy

“Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.® (NASDAQ: JKHY ) announced a next-generation, cloud-native technology strategy that will help community and regional financial institutions innovate faster, differentiate strategically, and compete successfully while serving the evolving needs of their accountholders. The multi-year strategy centers on the company’s ongoing development of a single, modern, open-banking platform that enables easy access to a broad ecosystem of Jack Henry solutions and high-grade, third-party fintechs. The initiative builds on Jack Henry’s industry-leading, open-API, digital banking platform.”

February 9, 2022

On the web

On the wires

American Express Expands Membership With New American Express® Rewards Checking Account

“American Express (NYSE: AXP) today launched American Express® Rewards Checking (Amex Rewards Checking), the company’s first all-digital consumer checking account, currently available for eligible U.S. Consumer Card Members. Amex Rewards Checking offers a range of benefits, including Membership Rewards points for eligible Debit Card purchases, an annual percentage yield (APY) rate that is 10 times higher than the national rate and Purchase Protection for eligible purchases, all with no monthly maintenance fees or minimums and world-class customer service.”

February 7, 2022

On the web

Singapore Builds Software Toolkit to Help FIs Use AI Responsibly

Finextra Research

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore and a host of industry players have released an open-source toolkit to help financial institutions use artificial intelligence ethically and responsibly. Singapore’s government outlined plans to develop a governance programme around the use of AI back in 2018 as it sought to grapple with the consequences of the rapid rise of the technology in the financial services industry.”

February 4, 2022

On the web

January 26, 2022

On the web

Contactless Transactions Surge in the UK

Finextra Research

“New data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, reveals that 91.1% of all eligible card transactions in 2021 were made contactlessly, with the total value of contactless payments made increasing by 40.2 per cent, year-on-year. The data also shows that shoppers increasingly opted for ‘touch and go’ at the check-out following the limit increase from £45 to £100 in October 2021, which resulted in the average number of transactions made contactlessly in the UK each day growing by 27.5 per cent.”

January 25, 2022

On the web

Amazon Opening New Amazon Go Store ‘Closer to Home’ for Shoppers


“Amazon Go is moving to the suburbs. The tech giant said it plans to open a new type of store aimed at serving customers in suburban-area locations. The first one will open in Mill Creek, Washington, in the coming months. Amazon also plans to open a second Go store in the Los Angeles area. Like other Go stores, the location will leverage technology allowing customers to make purchases without ever interacting with a cashier. Using the Amazon app, you scan to enter, then pick your items. When customers walk out, they are charged for the items purchased through the app.”

On the wires

Partnering With Fintechs and Simplifying Payments Key Drivers to Banks’ Modernization Plans, Global Study Reveals

“Almost two-thirds of banks globally (65 percent) say Open APIs that enable access to a broad range of fintechs and consolidation of different payment types are the key drivers behind their plans to modernize payments systems, according to a new global report, Defining and Building the Next Generation Payment Hub , from ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW) and Edgar, Dunn and Company (EDC).”

January 24, 2022

On the wires

H&R Block Introduces Spruce Mobile Banking Platform to Help More Americans Be Good With Money

“Living paycheck to paycheck is one of the biggest sources of economic stress for Americans today—and these anxieties impact mental and physical health. Two-thirds of the U.S. population struggle with one or more aspects of their finances, including spending, saving, and planning. To address these needs, H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) announces the launch of the Spruce℠ mobile banking platform to help everyone be good with money. The Spruce solution includes a spending account with a debit card, along with a connected savings account that allows for budgeting for specific goals.”

January 21, 2022

On the web

January 20, 2022

On the web

Aldi Opens Its First Till-free Supermarket

BBC News

“Aldi has opened its first checkout-free supermarket where people can shop without having to scan a product. The grocer is operating a “trial” store in Greenwich, London, which allows customers to complete their shop and pay without going to a till. Instead, customers can download the Aldi Shop&Go app, and will then be automatically charged for their purchases once they leave the store. Aldi’s new store follows similar moves by Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Amazon. The supermarket’s new site will also allow customers to buy alcohol, using facial-age estimation technology, to check whether they appear to be over the age of 25.”

December 21, 2021

On the web


“Siemens expects the transactions volumes to continue to grow strong growth in the coming months as pay-per-use begins to gain popularity and hence the system needs to be able to handle thousands of transactions per day transparently and reliably. This is the first of its kind system to be deployed by a large company and it could set the tone for more such payments systems to be set up using blockchain in the future. This also opens the gates for mainstream usage of blockchain not only in the payments industry but allied financial services industries as well.”

Seven in Ten UK Debit Card Transactions Are Now Contactless


“Nearly seven in ten debit card transactions (69%) and just over half of all credit card transactions (53%) in the UK are now contactless, according to figures from UK Finance . The figures also show that there were 1,260m contactless card transactions during September, an increase of 30.5% from 966m in September 2020 and 70.3% more than the 740m recorded in September 2019.”

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