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

Target and Cartwheel apps to merge starting this summer, mobile payments and improved maps to follow

 Target’s mobile app strategy will undergo a significant change, starting this summer. The retailer announced this week it will soon combine the functionality of its Cartwheel savings app with its main shopping app, in preparation for an eventual Cartwheel shutdown. The Target app will also receive a notable upgrade this year, adding support for an indoor map that shows your location in… Read More

Apple Pay now supports higher value transactions at most UK contactless tills

 If the UK’s £30 contactless payment limit was holding back greater adoption of Apple’s biometric contactless payment tech, Apple Pay, the company should expect to see uplift in usage as it believes that a majority of UK contactless POS now supports limitless transactions. Read More

Android Pay to expand to new markets, add improved loyalty card features

 Yesterday at Google’s developer conference I/O, the company announced upgrades to its Payment API that will make it easier for end users to switch between their multiple payment cards when checking out on the mobile web, or paying for things in apps – even if those cards were not saved in Android Pay. Today, Google announced a few more changes to its payments business &#8211… Read More