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Is contactless truly safe?

Last year, fraud of contactless cards resulted in a total loss of £1.18 million for people all across Britain. This figure is a dramatic increase from the year before, in which the amount lost was £711,000.

With the rise in popularity of contactless cards between 2017 and 2018, however, this is to be expected. The number of store transactions made by contactless cards across the UK went from 30% in 2017 to 52% in 2018, with it seeming that the crime based around it has risen in a similar amount.

 

How Is Contactless Fraud Performed?

The contactless card is seen as a double-edged sword due to its convenience. Whilst it results in not needing to waste as much time as the slower chip and PIN method, it also sacrifices the security that option provides. Cyber criminals can use scanning technology when in range of a contactless card in order to gain a reading of the data from a card’s built-in chip to use for themselves. Alternatively, they can make a contactless purchase of up to £30 with a stolen card.

Making such relatively small payments quickly through contactless cards will result in more of a fast-paced scattergun approach. This has its pros and cons, as thieves will generally spend less overall with contactless as they can’t go out and buy something expensive, but there is always a small chance the victim doesn’t notice the small change in figures when checking their balance, and will potentially take longer to cancel their card.

The amount of contactless fraud cases in the UK increased from 1,440 throughout all of 2017 to 2,739 between January and October of 2018 alone. The latter figure even accounts for around 50% of contactless card crime throughout the past five years alone.

 

Is Contactless a Flawed System?

The rise of crime related to contactless cards raises a question in some eyes – is contactless worth using?

The answer to that, in short, is yes. Whilst fraud can be expected to rise with contactless cards, crime is something that will always be inevitable, and criminals will find methods to perform their deeds regardless of the walls put up to prevent them. In order to perform the fraud in the first place, a criminal would require the necessary technology to scan the card, which isn’t something that happens every day, as they’re hard to get a hold of, and even harder to look natural with.

In response to the fraud problem, UK Finance, a representative of around 300 banking and finance firms, weighed in on the matter. According to them, a card system is necessary to perform contactless fraud and it isn’t something that can happen by just being next to someone.

They also made it apparent that in the grand scheme of things, contactless fraud is a fairly minor part of overall financial crime. The figure of contactless card crime only made up 3% of total card fraud in 2018, with the total amount being lost to card fraud in 2018 being as high as £281.2 million.

 

The Fact and Fiction of Contactless Crime

Beyond that, the common problems raised towards contactless cards can often be arguable at best. Whilst there were tests made by the consumer group Which? to steal contactless details with a card reader, it’s important to remember this was a test conducted in 2015. Since then, further advancements have been made in ensuring that payment methods in general are more secure.

Going back to the point of the £30 limit of contactless payments, this is probably the biggest reason contactless fraud isn’t’ as bad as other types.

It isn’t as though such transactions would go completely unnoticed either, with Giles Mason of the UK Card Association stating that: “Every card payment is fully traceable, right through to the recipient account,” in an interview with Tech Radar. He went on to add that whilst a thief could use a registered terminal connected to a retail account, that’s only a theoretical possibility and that “it would be easy to track the thief down.”

 

It’s also important to note that even if someone had the technology necessary to copy a card’s data, they would have to get past the interference that nearby metal objects would provide, which would be incredibly difficult to do in most commercial settings regardless of whether it’s a popular retail brand or local store. This overall means that contactless isn’t nearly as dangerous as the statistics may suggest.

 

Conclusion

Whilst evidence of contactless fraud is obvious, the problems with it are similar to problems you’d face with any method of payment. Overall, the increase of fraud can be chalked up to the increase in use, and companies are working around the clock to clamp down on this crime.

 

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Czech Republic – The Rising Star of European E-Commerce

The Czech Republic is one of the youngest nations in Europe, making it all the more surprising that it is emerging as one of the growing markets in European e-commerce. Whilst the powerhouses of Britain, France and Germany are starting to slow down in their markets, newer and smaller nations such as the Czech Republic are finding new ways to stay relevant in the e-commerce market, visible by their improvement in J.P. Morgan’s Global Payments Trends Report for this year.

To give more insight into the country’s business, the number of online shops went from 3,900 to around 40,000 in 2017. Its e-commerce market now worth a total of 4.4 billion euros, and is estimated to increase at a rate of 16% each year until 2021.

 

The sites that make up the majority of the Czech online stores would be domestic ones, whereas shopping services of other countries tend to be very unpopular. Due to this, online shoppers have higher expectations for delivery times, 75% either expecting or choosing same-day

delivery, yet only 6% would consider purchasing a premium service for this need.  That said, local brands hold the advantage of not needing to import goods or add additional shipping prices, leaving non-Czech brands with a need to update their business model if wishing to remain relevant in this territory.

The Czechs have made sure not to ignore the advantages of mobile commerce either, with it now making up 54% (or 2.4 billion euros in sales) of e-commerce within the country.

 

Despite all this, there are still some problems the Czech Republic will face. Cash is currently the most popular way to make payments within the country, making up 45% of transactions, which puts the country behind many other markets in that area. Focusing purely on cash will limit merchants when it comes to matters such as payment delays or additional required costs.

Whilst credit cards aren’t very popular, debit cards have shown some usage with an annual growth rate of 19.2%, making it apparent they will be seen as a fine second option when some businesses need more flexibility than cash-only payments.

 

Despite having some problems to tackle, this rising star nation in e-commerce seems set to show how well a small nation can function in the market with the proper steps in internalising it in the most efficient manner.

Indonesia in e-commerce – Soon To Be China’s Rival?

Indonesia is a country that would be nobody’s first thought when it comes to e-commerce. However, it may very well be on the way to becoming the next major player in the industry with the inspiration it has gained from China’s role in the market.

China made its mark on e-commerce in under a decade, starting to delve into the area and establishing significant retailers such as Alibaba and JD.com. The country has become a muse for many nations wanting to gain more of a presence in e-commerce, though few can copy the massive amounts of digital payments or number of small to medium-sized businesses that allowed China to get so far in the first place.

Slow evolution in the digital payment market has the US lagging behind in e-commerce potential growth by comparison. The role that giants of the business (mostly Amazon) play within developed countries such as the US also prevent new, smaller companies from emerging, compared to China having good management of smaller businesses within the industry.

With the growth of mobile payment options, Indonesia has made the first step of transitioning to a cashless society, with even local markets providing digital options for local merchants. Though lagging behind China’s developments by five years, Indonesia has the potential for its online market to make a giant growth spurt.

To be more specific, an August 2018 report from McKinsey & Company noted Indonesia’s e-commerce market would increase roughly eightfold by 2022 from what it was in 2017, rising from $8 billion from annual online spending to $55-65 billion by that point. The report also cited that average customer spending from each year would nearly triple by that point. The reasons for this growth are believed to be an increase in consumer trust in the market and an increase in Indonesian e-commerce businesses of varied sizes.

Indonesia is even estimated to surpass India’s amount of e-commerce sales according to the Singaporean financial publication The Business Times. In September 2018, they reported that Indonesian e-commerce transactions reached $13 billion in 2017, not far off India’s amount of $17.8 billion in the same year.

Along with being an inspiration for Indonesia, China is also a financial backer for their market’s growth, making investments in the market to propel the smaller country’s rise, including Alibaba and Tencent’s large stakes within the Indonesian market.

Accompanying this, China’s investments in artificial intelligence and big data within their retail has caused their stakes within the Indonesian market to be a lot more influential. As an example, the Indonesian company Bukalapak started integrating AI into its system last year that allowed it to achieve better personalisation features and add financing functions to display credit scores and loans to both merchants and the customer.

A virtual room may also be put in place in Indonesian markets, that Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall marketplaces have already tried. This utilises 3D modelling that allows for customers to try on accurate replicas of clothes.

Bukalapak has proposed ideas to attempt to make itself the Alibaba of the Muslim market, such as focusing on Halal food or fashion products appropriate to Muslims.

Indonesia’s advances in e-commerce are set to bring the country into a new era, adding many new job opportunities to the market. With the once one-man task of an online vendor becoming a complex business, the thousands of jobs created through this are only expected to increase. Though not quite up to the task of being China’s equal just yet, Indonesia is set to joining the high or top tier of the industry as an unexpected success for the market.

 

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Contactless- The Ticket To Success For The National Express

The National Express’ sales director in the West Midlands, Daljit Kalirai, has revealed that after over a year of the company operating a contactless card system, such cards now make up a quarter of its bus service’s entire revenue.

The machines for the system were implemented on all 1,600 of the National Express’ buses as of February 2018, with the three millionth customer to make a contactless payment having boarded the bus in January this year.

 

Research and Implementation

The knowledge of contactless’ potential is no recent discovery. The first time the National Express brought in contactless options was in 2016 when, with the National Express still operating the Midlands Metro, brought the system into the trams of the area. A month later, it was being used by 7% of the customers, becoming 20% after a year had passed.

When customers were asked about this, 2/3 said that the quicker nature of it is what made it a favoured option. Less time spent buying tickets also seemed to free up some time for the drivers to meet their strict schedules.

 

The convenience of not needing change was key in making the contactless system so popular. Transport Focus produced research to show that the priority market of young people prefer to use contactless more than other forms of payment on average.

That said, it was predictable that half of the fares on Coventry’s university bus routes are paid through contactless means.

 

Surprisingly, the National Express West Midlands service is the only bus service outside of London to have brought contactless card payments with daily capping. The difference is that London doesn’t allow cash anymore, whereas the West Midlands do due to it having some of the highest rates of deprivation in the UK- and this has a link with lack of technology, and thus a preference for the older payment methods.

 

How they did it

In order to get so far, the National Express partnered up with the machine supplier Init to produce their contactless machines. Init’s managing director, Jens Mullak, has expressed many of the plans the company has moving forward. These include creating an account-based ticketing system or tracking customer payments through a web portal designed for the system.

 

Explaining how their system works, Mullak said: “The taps are gathered on the bus by our passenger terminals, PROXmobil. Passengers present their card and get a green light at the terminal. That confirms card tap, which system-wise, stands for the granting of permission to travel. The taps are presented to the payment gateway according to the credit card brand rules. For Visa, this means the first tap of the day generates an account verification message, after which the taps are sent to the account held in the INIT ticketing system. All this is done in a way that minimises the PCI scope to the benefit of National Express.

“The travel permission taps are collected on a daily basis in the core of the system, where all trips tabbed on one account are aggregated, business rules for zonal and time-restricted tickets are applied, and then the actual fare capped. Capping values and periods can be defined as rules in the back office. At the end of the operation day, it settles the aggregated value by completing the payment with the payment gateway of the payment service provider.”

 

At this point, National Express has fully completed the implementation of their contactless technology and tested data with its highest model. With the higher-level model, the cost per transaction will be lowered, making the journey overall easy for the customer and ensuring any failures of payment transactions will be dealt with effectively.

 

The Other Digital Options

Other popular digital payment options have recently shown their usage amongst the customers. 12th January 2019 marked the four millionth ticket sold by the company’s West Midlands branch on a mobile. Paying for a ticket on a mobile has become a very popular method for buses and trains, with statistics showing 17% of the company’s revenue now comes from mobile purchases, with a large portion of them being students.

National Express has also recently started working with Masabi to make ordering bus tickets a lot easier for students.

 

As students are an important part of this model, student discount tickets are popular.

In order to make things even easier, National Express updated their software to easily connect mobile devices to their web portal, allowing students to use a voucher code from their college that takes little time in appearing on their phones and resulting in a quick transaction.

 

According to one Birmingham college student: “Moving away from the paper tickets onto the card has been a major step forward for us. It has reduced the logistical nightmare of trying to

‘make’ 3,000 bus passes every term. This typically involved at least 10 people over three days, distributing to students throughout seven campuses over a few weeks at the beginning of each term.”

 

Another said: “Feedback from our learners shows they are more satisfied with our services as they do not have to wait in queues to collect a bus pass/ticket/voucher.”

 

These changes proved effective. After only two months, National Express’ revenues through external devices such as the app increased by 100%. According to a survey following it, 55% of customers travelled more frequently than before due to the ease of access the app provided.

 

Masabi’s head of marketing, James Gooch noted that the increase in activity through the simplicity the app provided to customers showed the success of the project. In fact, it was even awarded the Transport Ticketing Global Award in 2018 due to the effect it had in enabling education through the transport’s benefits to students.

 

Gooch stated: “From the passenger’s point of view, being able to get a ticket on your phone makes it easier to access and ride on transport services. From an operator’s point of view, deploying a SaaS solution helps deliver innovation quickly (National Express went live in just seven weeks). Moving away from legacy infrastructure and having to issue proprietary physical tickets helps to reduce the overall cost of fare collection.”

 

When taking into account the digital methods, this would mean the percentage of customers making up the digital market would be 42%. Whilst this would still mean the majority are using cash, the digital method has its obvious benefits- even for those paying with cash, who can benefit from the reduced queue sizes when buying tickets.

 

According to National Express West Midlands’ head of customer experience, Adam Rideout: “With smart ticketing, we can target fares and offers more precisely to encourage people to travel – from a particular area or demographic or at a particular time. We can bring in products quickly and see if they work. If not, we can scrap them – without the huge expense of printing leaflets and timetables. We could even end up offering discounts based on the weather. Supermarkets do this – why couldn’t transport operators? Just because we’ve always changed our fares once a year doesn’t mean we always have to.”

 

It’s now clear that the contactless system has found another system to simplify, and it’s working wonders.

 

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Sweden set to become the first cashless country

Sweden plans to be the first cashless society on earth in the near future, as the country who first introduced cash to the world in 1661 ironically becomes the first to announce abandoning cash as a whole by March 2023, and make their economy entirely digital after 362 years.

For many years, almost all of Swedish transactions have been through credit and debit cards and using contactless methods. More than 80% of all transactions in Sweden are done electronically now, making cash seem obsolete to the country. The other Nordic countries such as Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland seem to be following Sweden’s example, showing this is a trend that is spreading.

 

The fall of cash in Sweden

By comparison, the mix in other European countries is shifting, but primarily use cash and still have many cash only businesses. Scandinavian countries are leading the way however, with all payments instead being by card or by the mobile app Swish.

What is Swish?

It’s a mobile payment platform designed by the six largest banks in Sweden to make electronic payments easier for the country’s population. This became an app used by almost everyone in Sweden and is often seen as the catalyst to finally kickstart the new digital era the country has been on the brink of for some time.

The Swedish people are being encouraged by both the banks and government to use Swish over cash, with over half of the population using Swish and only 13% using cash regularly. This extends to children as well, with many over the age of seven having debit cards with parental consent and having never used cash in their lives.

One event that helped bring rise to this was Stockholm’s public transport deciding to stop the acceptance of cash payments several years ago, and instead putting in place a policy of card/app only. Customers found this to end up being a better system as it encouraged most of them to buy monthly travel cards, which are more convenient and less expensive than regular individual tickets.

Another thing that caused the fall of cash was the convenience of tourists. When cards became the norm, the need for tourists to convert their cash upon visiting was gone. Cash isn’t necessary, even in small stores, which is perfect for those travelling to the country. All Swedish vendors now have chip and PIN readers offered by iZettle or Swish payment gateways.

Losing reliance on cash also helps prevent several types of crime. Bank robberies, drug deals, counterfeiting, and tax avoidance have all drastically decreased since cash stopped being a popular source of transaction, as online payments are easier to track than cash.

 

What that means for us

Now that this precedent has been set, Britain will surely follow suit. Whilst cash is indeed common here, card payments are just as common and contactless transactions are on the rise. In fact, contactless payments have become more popular than standard card payments in many stores according to the payment technology company Worldpay.

This first happened in June, in which 51% of in-store transactions were contactless and rose to 52% the following month. This was a 30% jump from what it was last year.

Ever since the spending limit was increased from £20 to £30, cards have exploded in popularity. Fashion has been one category of business that has greatly benefited from this, along with betting shops and department stores. Worldpay reported that there was a boost in card and mobile app payments not only in England, but Northern Ireland as well.

The former chief ombudsman of Financial Ombudsman, Natalie Ceeney, has said that the circulation of cash throughout our society amounts to a staggering £5 billion per year and that it will reach the point where it’ll be easier for businesses to stop accepting cash. If cash were to stop being circulated and currency was to go entirely digital, this would save the government a lot of money when it comes to actually moving the money.

 

The future of money

Since the early 2010s, many experts on finance have analysed the future of money and analysed the stability of cashless societies. Academics have investigated multiple scenarios, leading to where the future of cash lies, and the social consequences of turning a society cashless. New payment solutions are currently being discussed thoroughly, along with just how long it’d take us to be cashless ourselves in the future.

Sweden’s new answer to this is a new concept based on their current currency, named the e-Krona, a digital currency backed by Sweden’s banks and scheduled to come into place in 2019. As one of the final steps in turning Sweden fully into a cashless society, the banks hope to have the e-Krona fully in use around the country by 2021.

These changes set a standard that can likely start a domino effect of sorts, with many more countries not far behind.

 

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PayPal’s Schulman Not A Bitcoin Fan

Digital payment company PayPal is not betting on bitcoin as of now. In an interview with TheStreet.com, PayPal chief executive officer Dan Schulman said that while PayPal is focused on innovating in the payment market, it’s not focused specifically on the digital currency.

“I think right now, and we’re seeing this maybe more than ever, the volatility of the cryptocurrency makes it actually unsuitable to be a real currency that retailers can accept,” Schulman said in the interview. “[That’s] because retailers have very narrow margins, and when you have a bitcoin bouncing up and down by 15 percent over a couple weeks period, that can be the difference between profits and losing money on every sale.”

While Schulman is skeptical about bitcoin, he did says blockchain technology is a “real breakthrough” for any technologies that are founded on distributed trust. PayPal has a lot of room to innovate with blockchain technology.

“I think you need to separate out the bitcoin or cryptocurrencies as currencies and the underlying protocol called blockchain,” he said.

The executive also noted that blockchain isn’t being viewed as a competition to PayPal or to other financial services firms, but rather as a technology that enabled innovation to be created on top of it.

Schulman’s comments come at a time when bitcoin is garnering a lot of attention on the part of investors, something that has sent its value skyrocketing. The cryptocurrency began 2017 at approximately $1,000 per coin and was recently valued at $14,800 per coin.

The fact that the virtual currency is unregulated and extremely volatile has led regulators around the globe to warn about the risks associated with investing in bitcoin. China and South Korea have banned bitcoin exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs) altogether. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a “fraud” last year and said he would fire any trader who traded in it.

Source: (Pymnts, 2018)

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Payments Testing One, Two, Three

Modern consumers have high expectations for technology. If something doesn’t work perfectly, they’re quick to grow frustrated and abandon it as junk.

“Our generation is a little bit spoiled,” said Bart van Hoek, head of Innovations with UL Transaction Security — and he said that is all the more true with payments tech.

Imagine going out for breakfast only to find that the point-of-sale (POS) terminal isn’t working. Without it, how will you pay for your meal? Maybe you happen to be carrying cash that day, but even if you’re able to hand over a crisp $20 bill to cover the cost, the experience has certainly created friction.

Online, there’s no cash to fall back on. If the payment doesn’t work the first time, said van Hoek, that sale is as good as lost. Nobody wants to see a box that says the website is experiencing technical difficulties; please try again later. The customer likely won’t even remember to try again later, and if he does, he may not return to the same site. Most shoppers just give up on the faulty site and head to a competitor to complete the purchase instead.

Perfection, however, is not easy to achieve in any singular product. In payments, there are hundreds of players involved in making every single transaction work smoothly, from acquirers and banks to regulators setting standards that must be met to, of course, the payments processor.

The point-of-sale terminal at Walgreens or Kroger must work with a credit card from Chase, a mobile payment, a foreign debit card and more. How can the company that produces the terminal ever be sure it can do all that?

Trial and error, said van Hoek. But not with real consumers or real transactions. That is where payments testing comes in. In a recent interview, van Hoek told PYMNTS how this quality assurance process works for payment technology companies, how that’s changed over the years and why this stage of product development is so important.

 

An Investment in Reputation

User experience is more than a buzzword, van Hoek said. Every tap on a mobile device, every imaginable payment method — all of it is about creating the most seamless and smooth user experience possible, devoid of any bugs or errors.

Testing lets the developer see how the product will perform for every customer in every situation and shows whether the software is logical and intuitive or needs to be smoothed over.

When developers invest in payments testing, they aren’t just ensuring that their product does what it’s supposed to do, said van Hoek. They’re investing in their reputation. Building a good reputation is hard. Destroying it is easy — all it takes is one bad product. Earning back consumers’ trust is more difficult the second time around.

With the speed of innovation today, it may feel like a race to get products to market, but the last thing any developer wants is to go to market only to watch the product fall apart in the real world. Between the expense of fixing it and the business lost due to damaged reputation, “Those are costs you don’t want to bear,” said van Hoek.

 

Automate

To achieve the highest level of product quality, the product must be subjected to a high level of testing, and that requires a lot of repetitive actions and test cases. The number of repetitive actions will only increase as new payment methods and infrastructure are introduced and must also be tested.

That’s why payments testing is often seen as a chore. But, said van Hoek, it doesn’t have to be. Today, there are tools on the market to help manage some of those repetitive tasks, freeing up human testers from pressing buttons all day to make better use of their time.

Van Hoek said that manual testing can be extremely labor-intensive and time-consuming in some cases. But that doesn’t necessarily mean artificial intelligence (AI) has to be a part of the answer, he said. It simply means that any pieces of the process that can be automated should be.

Which pieces? That’s a decision that only the company can make. Van Hoek said that, due to the complexity of some test cases, automation is not always cost-efficient, either. Individual organizations must decide what is the best combination of manual and automated testing to optimize their processes.

At UL Transaction Security, customers can submit their hardware to undergo a barrage of different uses and scenarios in UL’s test labs, and van Hoek said the company is always looking to automate even more of the process as new technologies become available. The key client problem that UL helps to address is reducing time to market by eliminating the complexity that companies are facing with new technologies and regulations flooding the market.

 

Divide and Conquer

In the old days, said van Hoek, testing used to be done on final products at the end of the development cycle. But today, payments testers, like UL, subject the product to smaller tests along the way. By breaking the project into manageable chunks, UL is able to be more thorough in its testing and can identify problems before the rest of the product gets built around them.

Van Hoek said that can save a lot of time and money throughout the development process, as it enables development teams to address issues as they go along rather than having to tear down and rebuild a final product that doesn’t work right.

The thinking around testing must change, he argued. It’s more about quality assurance, though testing is just one piece of a larger quality assurance process that includes identifying, anticipating, managing and resolving issues across the product, while testing focuses specifically on finding and eliminating bugs.

As development processes have become more agile, van Hoek said that testing processes throughout the lifecycle must also increase their agility.

 

Growth Ahead

Again, the number of payment methods out there — and the infrastructure that goes with each one — is only going to increase. There are many players trying to disrupt the industry, but people aren’t abandoning cash and credit cards to pay with their smartphones; it’s not “either/or” but “both/and.”

Cryptocurrencies are another growing method in the payments industry, and the price of bitcoin (currently around $11,000) reveals just how popular it is among its fans. Eventually, at least some consumers are going to want to spend that digital currency in real-world brick-and-mortar stores.

Money is money, and merchants want to be ready to accept whatever form of it customers want to hand them. Doing that will require new technology and new components, or new use cases for old components, van Hoek explained — all of which will need to be tested and validated before rolling out to merchants and the public — for their own good and for the good of the brand.

Source: (Pymnts, 2017)

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Paytm Says On Track To Be World’s Biggest Digital Bank

In an interview with Bloomberg published Tuesday (Nov. 28), Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said the company is aiming to have 500 million bank accounts.

“We are unveiling our money market fund, launching our debit card and we’ll have the capabilities to allow enterprises to open business accounts,” Sharma said. “Digital payments was our entry point, we want to become a vertically-integrated financial services company.”

While Paytm Payments Bank can accept deposits and remittances, it cannot lend money to its customers. The bank will be the country’s first mobile-only bank that does not charge fees for online transactions and will not require a minimum balance. The bank is majority owned by Sharma, but telecommunications firm One97 Communications has a 49 percent stake. According to Sharma, the company can get around regulatory obstacles to offer lending by working in partnership with One97, which will launch a credit card and offer monthly installment-based loans.

“We will launch share trading and insurance products very soon,” he added. “We want to become an nternet-agei financial services company.”

Sharma explained his company is leveling the playfield. The banking system has traditionally been skewed heavily toward those with money, while the less wealthy people of India have had a tough time paying their bills or transferring money to family members.

“Buying insurance and investing through our wealth management products will become widely accessible through the payments bank,” he said.

Paytm Payments Bank is an offshoot of digital money service Paytm, an electronic payment firm which recently obtained a permit to create a payments bank and provide financial services to those underserved by the Indian financial services industry.

 

Source: (Pymnts, 2017)

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APPLE PAY P2P Payments Coming To Apple Watch In The Autumn

 

apple-watch

 

 

Peer-to-peer payments are coming to the Apple Watch this fall with the release of iOS 11 and watchOS 4.

On its website, Apple said that Apple Pay users will be able to send and receive money quickly, easily and securely via its peer-to-peer payment platform. The feature will be available right in Messenger, or users can tell Siri to pay someone using a virtual debit card or credit card already loaded into the digital wallet. When users get paid, they will receive the money instantly in the new Apple Pay Cash card that will reside in the Apple Wallet.

The move on the part of Apple to include P2P payments with the new iOS 11 and watchOS 4 comes at a time when the company is trying to get Apple Pay in the hands of more users. Earlier this month, Didi, the Uber of China (and, in fact, the local service that gobbled up Uber China last August) announced it has added Apple Pay support to its Didi Premier, Didi Express and Didi Luxe personal mobility services, in addition to its partner station-less bike rental service ofo, according to a TechCrunch news report.

Apple Pay is standard fare on any iOS device, allowing users to authenticate payments biometrically – today, with their fingerprints, and soon using Face ID on the forthcoming iPhone X. That’s on top of other iOS features Didi already supported, including Siri-powered ride hailing from within the Maps app or via the Apple Watch. With the addition of support by Didi, Apple Pay joins the likes of WeChat, Alipay, QQ Wallet, international credit cards and CMB all-in-one net payment, all of which power Didi’s core services. It also comes at a time of increased competition from Fitbit, which recently launched the Ionic smartwatch.

 

Source (Pymnts, 2017)

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As of January 2018, businesses will be stripped of their ability to add any surcharges to their card transactions.

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Sole Trader? There’s no need to go it alone – and employing these three people could help!

Many small business owners run their entire enterprise alone, which is perfectly understandable when it comes to keeping costs down.
However, going it alone as an SME is difficult to say the least – and employing these three people can help you take your business to the next level.

1) Accountant
As a small business owner, your goal is to make money–so it only makes sense to consult a professional to help you manage this crucial aspect of your business. Becoming a business owner naturally adds complexity to your tax scenario, so at tax time, an accountant can be crucial for making sure you’re in full compliance and are filing correctly.

2) Assistant
Being a solo business is difficult. Tasks and communications that don’t have to do directly with the day-to-day of customer relations, creating or offering your products and services, and other immediate tasks might become backed up, or even fall by the wayside.
This is where an assistant can come in handy. By employing a loyal employee, you can leave the simple store transactions while having more time to deal with the important things!

3) PR and Marketing Assistant
Getting your name out there is a key factor in achieving a successful business; and a PR and marketing executive can help achieve just that.
Having someone directly available to create social media content, produce flyers and leaflets, manage marketing and deal with outside queries can hugely improve your business reputation as you progress up the success ladder!

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Why the new £1 coin could be the last ever made as Britain moves towards a cashless society

The two-tone pound coin boasts innovative security features which supposedly make it the most secure on the planet. It is also the first UK coin in circulation since the threepenny bit to feature a design of octagonal proportions.

But despite its impressive design, there’s every chance that this will be the last £1 coin in the history of our currency.

Why?

The decline of coins and notes is not just being driven by the convenience of alternative, more high-tech payment methods – it’s also because of the simple fact that cash costs money to make!

The UK is a world leader when it comes to alternative payments. In 2015 alone, Brits spent over £21bn via contactless payments – more than any other country on the continent.

This explains why every business, from popular chains to pop-ups, know that their customers expect to be able to pay by their card, mobile, or wearable device – and over 17.m UK businesses now accept payment cards.

As if we needed any more proof that it’s time to convert to contactless and mobile payments, we now officially have it!

Get in touch with a member of our team today to identify the payment solutions that are perfect for YOUR business.

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Pepare for the next generation of card payments

Paying for your shopping using your smartphone just got even easier as Mastercard expands the reach of its mobile payment app.

The humble credit and debit card may be a step closer to extinction thanks to a new announcement from Mastercard.

The company has revealed a major expansion to its Masterpass digital wallet service that will allow customers for the first time.

Going forward, Masterpass should now work seamlessly on your smartphone, wearable device or tablet, letting you pay online, in-store, or using the NFC-enabled app with just one touch.

Masterpass makes paying for goods even easier

Masterpass makes paying for goods using your smartphone even easier

Mastercard says that the new service, which links to your current account, is perfect for a wide ranges of use cases, from paying for the tube in the morning to splitting the bill at lunch and ordering your weekly shop online.

Banks will also be able to build Masterpass into their own apps, bringing together all your various digital payment methods and apps in one place.

The company says that around 80 million people around the world will be able to benefit automatically from the new service, which launches in the US today before expanding to Europe later next year.

The news comes as competition in the mobile payment market continues to increase, as big players such as Apple and Samsung throw their weight behind the technology.

Since its launch in 2014, Apple Pay has helped popularize the idea of paying for good using a mobile phone in the UK, with thousands of businesses across the country supporting the technology.

 


Moore, M. (2016) Home. Available at: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/689626/mastercard-masterpass-contactless-shopping-payment-app-nfc (Accessed: 15 July 2016).

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Selfies And Contactless Rings: New Ways To Pay

The way we pay for goods is changing. Get ready for Selfie Pay, contactless payment rings and iris scanners.

What if you could use a selfie to pay for things? How about the rhythm of your heart?

New technologies that could change the way we buy things have been shown off at the Gherkin as part of London Tech Week.

Selfie Pay takes everyone’s favourite vanity exercise and makes it useful: allowing you to authorise a transaction with your face.

The app requires you to blink so it knows you’re really there and someone isn’t using a photo of you to fraudulently authorise a transaction.

The idea is to get rid of the need for passwords, instead using biometrics: unique data based on individual characteristics like your face, eyes or fingerprint.

“If you think about passwords, they’re a standalone measure,” said Jane Khodos from MasterCard. “They’re easily lost, stolen or forgotten.

“Here you’re authenticating with what you have: your phone and also who you are.”

You could use this kind of tech to buy goods, pay for bus or train fares, or to log into your computer.

We also saw more of Nymi: a wearable wristband that can identify you by the unique rhythm of your heart, found in your electrocardiogram (ECG).

Your heart rhythm is not to be confused with your heartbeat, so the band would still work if you had just run for a bus, for example.

“We’re also very concerned about the security issues, it’s something that’s top of the mind for us,” said Amy Neal from MasterCard Labs, the company’s research and development division.

It is not just biometrics that could change payments.

Kerv is said to be the world’s first contactless payment ring: a simple piece of technology that essentially means you are wearing a contactless payment card.

Payment tech inventors emphasise that there is no need to choose just one of these products.

“You can start to bundle biometric authentication together,” says Ms Neal. “So you might have Selfie Pay, but also the electrocardiagram for additional security.

“We hear stories like people are concerned that they may have an identical twin, so what does that mean if you’re doing selfie pay?

“For us this is ensuring that we have a full suite of biometrics available.”

The Kerv ring is due out in July, Selfie Pay comes out in the UK this year and the Nymi band and iris scanner are both still in development.

 


Team, T.S. (2016) Selfies and Contactless rings: New ways to pay. Available at: http://news.sky.com/story/selfies-and-contactless-rings-new-ways-to-pay-10323052 (Accessed: 15 July 2016).