What's New in Payments

Chinese retailers shutter unmanned stores as ‘novelty wears off’

China’s unmanned store boom ends as quickly as it began — Nikkei Asian Review — “Across China, shops once considered the future of retail have been shutting their doors for good… The Chinese IT companies that entered the market used technology to remove the need for workers but may have overlooked other parts of the equation.”


What's New in Payments

European mobile wallets adopt Alipay QR code format to boost payment interoperability

Map of western europe

Six European mobile wallet providers — Bluecode (Austria), ePassi (Finland), Momo Pocket (Spain), Pagaqui (Portugal), Pivo (Finland) and Vipps (Norway) — have adopted a QR code format from Chinese payment provider Alipay to ensure digital payment interoperability and improve the international reach of customers’ wallets as well as boosting sales, participants have told NFCW... More



What's New in Payments

McDonald’s links up with Alibaba’s food ordering app to drive loyalty card sign ups

McDonald’s China links loyalty program to Ele.me app — Alibaba — “Starting this week, Ele.me users can activate a McDonald’s membership card with just one click on the app to earn loyalty points for purchases and receive vouchers worth up to RMB88.5 ($12.80). The fast food giant attracted nearly 20,000 new members on its first day of launching the service on May 20, while single-day orders increased about 20% week-over-week, McDonald’s China said.”


What's New in Payments

Alipay and WeChat Pay to support common QR code standard for Japan

Japan to unify mobile payment codes, enlisting Chinese giants — Nikkei Asian Review — “Line and Alibaba Group Holding are among five major internet businesses from Japan and China that will standardize QR codes that are scanned to make payments via smartphones in Japan, Nikkei has learned. The others joining this undertaking are online flea market operator Mercari and mobile carrier NTT Docomo from Japan and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay from China.”


What's New in Payments

Hong Kong airport adds face recognition payments

Duty Zero by CDF introduces facial recognition payment at HKIA — DFNI Frontier — “The Duty Zero by CDF liquor and tobacco stores are the first in Hong Kong to feature the software, which is designed to enhance the consumer shopping experience for Chinese consumers. The Dragonfly POS devices are placed next to the checkout, customers input their phone number and face towards the camera; the software then completes the transaction in just a few seconds.”


What's New in Payments

Alipay to invest $448m promoting face recognition payments in stores

Alipay to spend US$448m plugging new face scanner — Yicai Global — “Dragonfly 2’s next-generation 3D cameras are more precise and have a wider angle, and since the device can handle payments under various lighting conditions merchants will not need to make any changes to their store lights… The scanner is priced at CNY1,999 (US$298.50), nearly 30% less than the previous version.”


What's New in Payments

German central banker calls for European payments network

Europe needs to get off the sidelines — Deutsche Bundesbank — “Here in Europe, we need to prevent a situation from arising in which American and Chinese payment systems are all we have left to choose between. Highly successful firms from the United States and China are looking to carve out a huge chunk of the European market. Hence the desire to forge a payments solution with a clear-cut European ‘brand’.”



Transit Ticketing Today

Jinan City metro installs face recognition at fare gates

China opens first 3D facial recognition metro line in Shandong — ECNS — “Metro Line 1 in Jinan City, Shandong Province has become the first in China to adopt 3D facial recognition technology… The 3D facial recognition technology-empowered gate can allow entry of 30 to 40 passengers per minute… The error rate is said to be only one in one million, while the technology can also detect fraudulent use of photos, videos or masks.”



What's New in Payments

Aeon to identify customers with face recognition at 80 self-serve stores

Aeon to use facial recognition at 80 China self-serve stores — Nikkei Asian Review — “Aeon, Japan’s largest retailer by sales, will soon debut a chain of self-serve smart stores in China that can anticipate what a customer will buy upon entering the establishment… Facial recognition technology installed in the stores will identify shoppers. Customers’ smartphones will then display recommended items and coupons based on purchasing habits and digital payment history.”



What's New in Payments

WeChat Pay reports 500% increase in transaction volumes

WeChat Pay supports merchants expanding businesses by bringing its ecosystem to the world — WeChat Pay — “In 2018, the monthly average transaction volume saw an increase of 500% year on year, while the total transaction value increased 400%. Meanwhile, the number of service providers witnessed a year-on-year increase [of] 300%, and the number of merchants accepting WeChat Pay increased 700%. WeChat Pay is now available in 49 markets outside of the Chinese mainland, supporting cross-border payment transactions in 16 currencies.”


What's New in Payments

Xiaomi expands its Mi Pay mobile payments service to India

Xiaomi announces official Indian launch of Mi Pay — GSMArena — “Back in 2016, Xiaomi launched Mi Pay in China and followed that up by launching a beta trial in India. Testing is finally complete and Indian users get full access to Mi Pay. The platform is built on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in collaboration with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and ICICI Bank and supports more than 120 banks.”


Transit Ticketing Today

Shenzhen Metro tests face recognition payments

You will soon be able to pay your subway fare with your face in China — South China Morning Post — “At the Futian station, instead of presenting a ticket or scanning a QR bar code on their smartphones, commuters can scan their faces on a tablet-sized screen mounted on the entrance gate and have the fare automatically deducted from their linked accounts.”


Transit Ticketing Today

Shanghai bus operator adds face recognition payments

SenseTime promotes traffic safety with smart automobile solutions — SenseTIme — “Passengers may register on the shuttle bus service app and submit their photo, they will then no longer have to worry about forgetting their smartphone or shuttle bus card, simply scan and go aboard, saving the hassle of waiting in queue to pay when getting on a bus.”




What's New in Payments

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to launch Brics Pay mobile payment service

Five-currency basket: Brics countries create a single payment service — Izvestia (translation) — “One of the likely scenarios for the project is the creation of a special online wallet that will unite the payment systems of all the Brics countries… The common wallet will work in the same way as existing payment services, such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. To this end, a separate cloud platform will be created that will connect the national payment systems of the five countries.”