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Weekly top reads

Industry news top reads 1-7 April 2016

08 April 2016

Below are our top reads from the last seven days of industry news*. Every Friday we'll publish our picks from industry developments, stories and announcements right here so you can keep you up to date with what's happening in payments here and overseas.

If you'd like to have our top reads emailed to you every Friday, let us know by emailing

Top reads

Facebook to partner with Aussie banks
Facebook is getting on board with mobile banking and is looking to do a deal with Aussie banks. Facebook in Australia has built mobile platforms used by 11 million Aussies a day and now they want to leverage that scale. Facebook wants to help the banks drive more people to use mobile services, rather than in-branch.

UK Payments System Regulator publishes annual plan
After just 12 months in operation, the UK’s Payments System Regulator (PSR) has announced its programme of work for 2016 and 2017, including releasing reports, and challenging the infrastructure of the industry. The PSR also plans to explore what the future of regulation in the payments industry might look like and how the PSR can better make a difference to end users by supporting access, innovation and lower barriers to entry across the industry.

Microsoft and R3
R3’s consortium of 43 banks and Microsoft have signed an agreement to help the adoption of distributed ledger technologies like Blockchain amongst R3’s members. Microsoft will essentially provide “blockchain as a service,” in which the technology is accessed via cloud. R3 and its consortium members will also be able to access Microsoft’s blockchain-as-a-service partners, which include Ethereum, ConsenSys, Ripple and others.

Western Union launches digital B2B platform
Western Union Business Solutions has announced WU EDGE; a digital platform that helps SMEs to trade internationally. The platform is being launched at #Money2020Europe in Copenhagen this week. The WU EDGE platform helps businesses with international needs by connecting buyers and sellers, empowering insights and analysis and enabling cross-border transactions.

Amazon files patent to pay by selfie
Amazon has decided that passwords are old hat and has filed a patent that will allow users to pay for their merchandise with a selfie. Amazon’s venture is not the first, making its application for the patent a race to be the first in creating a business platform for the facial-recognition-as-payment software.

Alipay launches in Europe
Alipay, one of China's biggest payment services and competition to Tencent's WeChat Payment, is pushing beyond Asia, allowing Chinese customers to pay for things abroad. The app will recognise Alipay users when they’re in Europe and send notifications about where to eat, shopping offers and places to see. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, Chinese tourists spent $215 billion abroad last year, a 53 percent rise from 2014. Alipay is hoping that much of this spending will be through its app.

Barclays joins Apple Pay in the UK
Despite Apple Pay launching the UK nearly 9 months ago, Barclays has only just adopted the payments service. The bank offers rival facilities of its own - including bPay and Pingit - but has now caved to pressure from some customers to support Apple's effort.


*These articles cover a range of topics from broad payments industry news here and overseas. They do not represent the views of Payments NZ and are not endorsements.

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