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Weekly top reads

Industry news top reads 9 Sept - 15 Sept 2016

16 September 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       

Semble officially comes to an end
The Semble digital wallet joint venture officially ended on 9 September. Semble was launched in October 2014, but reportedly failed to get much traction in the New Zealand market. The news follows a discontinuation of its mobile payments service in July, when Semble CEO Rob Ellis said mobile payment services hadn’t had the speed of uptake they expected.

CommBank and Barclays partner to make UK-Australia money transfer easy
By late 2016 customers of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Barclays are expected to be able to easily move money between the UK and Australia using only a mobile number. This will be a first for Australian and UK customers and the service will work using a link-up between the banks’ payments apps.

NAB offers digital credit card
National Australia Bank customers will soon be able to use their credit card before they receive the plastic. They’ll be able to sign a digital contract then upload the credit card details to a smartphone and make contactless payments of less than $100 Australian.

Facebook chat bots to accept payments
Facebook has launched a US-only beta service that allows businesses to sell products through chat bots on its Messenger platform, which has more than one billion users. The service will integrate with payments processors including Stripe and PayPal as well as Braintree, MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Facebook says the service will have “bank-level” encryption to keep financial data safe.

Interpol and Europol to tackle illegal use of cryptocurrency
A new project has been launched to investigate and combat the use of digital currency for money laundering and financing terrorism. The group leading the work consists of Europol, Interpol and the Basel Institute on Governance. They will create a network of experts to advise law enforcement agencies and governments on how best to investigate crimes involving virtual cash. Their work may also reduce some of the uncertainty around the extent to which terrorists use cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain could spark an electricity revolution
From New York to Vienna, blockchain is being adapted for use by utility companies. With independent wind and solar farms feeding into power grids in short and unpredictable intervals, more agile and decentralised transaction systems are required. Utility companies also want to use blockchain technology to track the use of new products, from rooftop solar panels to electric-car charging. Lawrence Orsini, the founder of New York-based blockchain developer LO3 Energy, says the potential uses for blockchain in energy could be even more than in the financial sector.  


*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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