17 July 2015
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.
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Apple Pay now in the UK
Apple Pay has launched in the UK this week, making it the first country outside of the United States to get access to the new payments tech. The UK's leading credit card providers - Visa, MasterCard and American Express - have all signed up. How will it work in the UK? See a summary of the launch here, including restrictions, benefits and some initial teething problems.
SWIFT Institute investigates Bitcoin
Following a decision in 2014 to look into the risks associated with bitcoin as a digital currency, SWIFT Institute is now offering €15,000 to research teams to look into how bitcoin's underlying technology could affect the global securities ecosystem.
Safricom, the company that has built the world’s most widely used mobile-money network, called M-Pesa, bringing financial services to the poorest, is facing calls for official intervention to improve competition. Airtel, one of Safaricom’s anaemic rivals is keen to get its own allocation of 4G radio spectrum. See the full story here.
Shoppers slow down their spending in June
Kiwi spending using credit/debit cards slowed in June and retailers were particularly downbeat in the latest business confidence survey published this week by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
If we can send pictures through social media, why can’t we send payments? That’s the thinking driving new startup, Fastacash. Company CEO, Vince Tallent told TechCrunch that “the company wants to make payments social in the same way that Mastercard and VISA have pioneered credit and debit cards.” Fastacash provides new tech that allows people to make payments to friends - and, in the future, retailers - on the platforms that they use every day, from Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Twitter, to SMS email.
Consumers afraid of overspending by mobile
New tech is exciting and normally widely adopted, but according to uSwitch.com close to a quarter of consumers are nervous that mobile payments might lead to overspending. However, the launch of Apple Pay in the UK put 26% of consumers at ease about their spending as they saw a leading tech company entering the mobile payment market.
Who is dominating mobile?
Some mobile payments players will achieve and maintain traction, others will lose or never get it. Eventually consumers will become less worried about security and be swayed by the ease and benefits of mobile payments, says CIO, but there are still some hoops to jump through before mobile payments gain global, mainstream traction.
The cashless economy
For businesses who want to present themselves as tech savvy and digitally aware, it just might be time to get on board with the cashless economy. TechRadar says that accepting contactless payments and showing support of them will attract customers who are looking to maximise the features of their new iPhone or Apple Watch.