Apple Pay Cash launches in beta today, letting you send and receive cash in Messages

 Apple is soft-launching direct, person-to-person payments in an iMessage today with the Apple Pay Cash beta. The feature, which was announced earlier this year, allows you to send and receive cash inside the Messages app on iPhones. The program is launching in public beta today on iOS 11.2 beta 2, and you can opt in using the iOS Public Beta program here. Once you’ve updated,… Read More

Grab, the Uber rival in Southeast Asia, is now officially also a digital payments company

 Grab is best known for rivaling Uber in Southeast Asia, but today the company took a major step into becoming a fintech player, too.
That’s because the ride-sharing firm, which recently raised $2 billion from SoftBank and China’s Didi Chuxing, rolled out support for its GrabPay service among third-party merchants for the first time today.
Grab is present in seven markets across… Read More

Over 5,000 Wells Fargo ATMs now support card-free access via Apple Pay and other mobile wallets

 Wells Fargo’s ATMs are getting an upgrade. The bank announced today that more than 40 percent – or over 5,000 of its ATMs – will now allow customers to perform transactions without having to pull out their bank card. Instead, users can take advantage of NFC – aka the “tap and pay” technology that powers mobile wallet systems like Apple Pay, Android Pay,… Read More

Alibaba debuts ‘smile to pay’ facial recognition payments at KFC in China

 China is streets ahead when it comes to digital payments. The latest leap is facial recognition technology that allows a customer to pay by literally flashing a smile. Alibaba’s Ant Financial affiliate launched the ‘smile to pay’ service in Huangzhou, the location of the company’s global HQ, where it is being trialled with KFC. As the video from Ant below shows, the… Read More

Beijing’s public transport system gets an app for paying fares — but Apple isn’t invited

 Apple continues to be locked out of China’s massive mobile payments space. The latest reminder came this week when Beijing’s transportation system opened up to smartphone payments… via an Android app. Already Tencent’s WeChat Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay services dominate China’s mobile payment space, which is estimated to have processed $3 trillion last year,… Read More

Amazon Pay Places lets you pay for real-world shopping using your Amazon info, starting with TGI Friday’s orders

 Amazon is today introducing a new feature called Amazon Pay Places, that allows customers to pay for in-store and order ahead shopping experiences using their Amazon app. That is, instead of using cash, check, credit or debit while shopping out in the real world, you can just use your Amazon account information instead. The first implementation of Pay Places involves a partnership with the… Read More

UK’s digital-only Starling Bank adds Apple Pay support

 Digital-only UK “challenger” bank, Starling Bank, has added support for Apple Pay — meaning its customers can now add their Starling debit card to their Apple Wallet and make contactless payments drawing from funds in their Starling account via their Apple devices. Read More

There’s a war brewing in Japan, and the banks should pay attention

 People often use the term “time machine model” in Japan. It refers to the lag with Silicon Valley when it comes to startups and innovation. When a time machine model gains momentum locally, usually it means war. The most notable recent example of this is the war of the news apps. Now there is a similar war brewing in Japan; this time it is for mobile P2P payments. Read More