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Weekly top reads

Industry news top reads 3 Feb - 9 Feb 2017

10 February 2017

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 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 

Say cheese and pay
Mastercard is bringing “selfie pay” to Australia this year, so all that customers will need to pay for goods is a smartphone and a smile. Mastercard Identity Check, as the selfie app is formally known, will act as a form of two-factor authentication and will support both facial recognition and fingerprint readers. It will be a free opt-in additional service to Mastercard holders.

Google ditches Hands Free payment app
Google is stepping away from its Hands Free payment app, saying that customer feedback was key in its decision to move away from the app. The concept allowed users to pay for goods through voice recognition whilst in possession of a wallet or phone. Google hasn’t announced what’s next in the payments pipeline, but they have said that they will be using the learnings from Hands Free for another project.

Samsung Mini Pay launch set for South Korea
Samsung is launching Pay Mini as a trial in South Korea in February. The Pay Mini app is a pared-back version of Samsung Pay and will let users pay for things over WiFi or using data, in addition to storing loyalty card details and transport tickets. It is also available on a much broader range of devices than Samsung Pay.

Amazon’s payment arm steps up the challenge to PayPal
Pay with Amazon processed nearly double the amount of money in 2016 as it did in 2015 and now has 33 million users. This expansion in its revenue stream challenges the likes of PayPal. At the same time, PayPal is exploring new territories with its first payments bot in the popular work-chat app, Slack. The bot lets you make quick payments to fellow Slack users, like splitting coffee orders or paying for group gifts.

Two sides of the blockchain coin
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has warned that any large-scale adoptions of blockchain technology across the financial services sector would first need to overcome a number of key challenges in privacy, governance and risk creation. At the same time, attendees at the London Blockchain Week 2017 discussed “blockchain for good” and the many ways the technology could be used (and already is used) to tackle corruption and make it easier for charities to operate across borders.

Reserve Bank Governor not seeking another term
The Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, has announced that he will not be seeking a second term when his current term ends on 26 September 2017. Minister Joyce has announced that Grant Spencer will be appointed Acting Governor for six months after Wheeler’s term ends to give the Reserve Bank time to complete its recruitment process in the election year.


*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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