Fintech Digest - June 2017

Video-banking branches in Vietnam

Vietnamese bank TPBank plans to expand its number of small-scale video banking branches – LiveBanks – in the South-East Asian country. The bank currently (June 2017) has 12 of the LiveBank branches and plans to open another 50 in the remainder of 2017 and into 2018. The branches feature video links that enable customers to talk to a bank clerk, make loan applications or deposit cash. The customer can scan documents via a built-in scanner, verify their identity using a biometric authentication system and print their application forms.

Apple to enable peer-to-peer payments on iOS 11

Apple is to introduce peer-to-peer (P2P) payment services on its upcoming iOS 11 operating system. The feature will enable the user to pay using a credit or debit card already connected to their Apple Wallet directly in the Messages application. Money received goes into the user’s Apple Pay Cash account. This digital cash can then be used to send to someone else, make purchases or transfer to a bank account.

Lucozade hands out contactless payment soft drinks

Lucozade, a soft drinks maker, plans to give London, UK, commuters a bottle of the eponymous drink embedded with a contactless chip enabling them to pay for their journey on the underground. The promotion will take place at Oxford Circus underground station.

Google Payment API

Google has launched its Google Payment API which allows users to make payments in app or online with any credit or debit card linked to their Google Account via Google Pay, Chrome and YouTube. In a similar manner to the Apple Pay system users can checkout online without needing to enter bank account and card details for every transaction – they just enter a security code to make the purchase. Developers that use the API can make checkout easier for their customers. Google also said that users in the USA would soon be able to use Google Assistant, its digital assistant, to make payments via Google Home or an Android phone. The last announcement by the search giant was that an API, called Card Linked, will enable a loyalty scheme for customer and merchants. The merchants can push goods and services onto the customer via targeted offers. Customers who save loyalty card information to Android Pay can discover offers and learn about new products and services when they are at the store.

BNP Paribas using virtual reality

BNP Paribas, an international banking group, is implementing virtual reality-based (VR) services in its branches. The bank is plans to use the VR to help customers run their banking operations, with tools to help them manage their account and make decisions. BNP gives some examples of where the VR is being implemented:

  • French Retail Banking has launched a VR-based app that allows users to consult bank transaction records and go through various steps of buying real estate in the VR world.
  • BNP Paribas Real Estate has developed ‘the POD’ which takes potential property-buyers into a new apartment or construction to view it in 360°.
  • The Mobile Protect VR tool is a VR experience designed to show customers the benefits of insuring their mobile devices.

Visa tokenisation program gets new partners

Visa, a credit card company, has announced 13 new partners in its token service provider (TSP) program. The partnership reflects the growth of digital payment methods and device-based contactless payment throughout the world. Tokens are used to identify a cardholder’s information in a digital code, which theoretically doesn’t contain the user’s actual bank information – making it a secure way of paying digitally. The 13 new partners are: FitPay, Infosys, Rambus, Mahindra Comviva, PayCraft, Digiseq, FOO, Pri-Num, Seglan, HST, Prosa, VeriTran and YellowPepper.

Vein-ID

Sthaler has developed a biometric payment system called Fingopay which involves scanning a user’s finger’s vein pattern to authenticate ID or a digital payment. The ‘Vein-ID’ is scanned with a pulse of near infrared light. The technology is already being trialled at restaurant and nightspot Proud Camden in London, UK, to identify individuals for access to events and to pay for food and drinks.

Payscout's VR commerce concept

VR Commerce, from Payscout, has developed a virtual reality (VR) experience that enables the user to purchase embedded, physical products within a VR environment. A video on Payscout’s website shows a user slipping her phone into a Google Cardboard headset and entering a virtual shop with virtual clothing models. The user then moves the device so that a cursor floats over an object she’s interested in, clicking a button on the phone brings up a display showing information on the product and giving her the option to purchase it.

Mobile point of sale system trialling

Worldpay, a UK payments processor, is trialling a software-based mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) system that would allow cash-only and micro retailers to accept card and phone payments on their near-field-communication devices. My Business Mobile enables a merchant to download an app to accept contactless card transactions directly on their smartphone without any external hardware. Worldpay says the technology will be trialled with 50 micro-businesses in London, UK, in 2017.

Mining GPUs

Asus has released graphics processing units (GPUs) specifically designed for use in mining Bitcoins. The AMD-based card – Mining RX 470 4G – and the Nvidia-based card – Mining P106-6G – are being sold by Asus. Asus claims that the new cards offer a 36 percent increase in hash rate (mining power) than other non-mining GPUs on the market.

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