Optus has admitted to handing over its customer’s phone numbers to certain third-party websites accessed by the user. As first flagged by a user on telco forum Whirlpool, when a user browses certain websites, Optus provides the customer’s mobile phone number to the website operator where a “commercial relationship” exists. The practice, known as HTTP header enrichment, includes a mobile browser’s phone number in the HTTP header of the website request. The process aims to streamline direct billing for customers.
TNS, a leading global provider of data communications and interoperability solutions, is providing a Pan-Asian telecommunications network for Global Payments, a leading worldwide provider of payment technology services. The best-in-class network, which utilises TNS’ Dial and TNSConnecttechnologies, delivers a single, seamless solution which harmonises the payments infrastructure across the diverse range of countries and telecommunications environments. The high speed TNS solution offers flexible routing and a range of connectivity options to help simplify operations which carry multiple types of transaction traffic.
SINGAPORE telco M1 Ltd, in collaboration with CIMB, MasterCard and Wirecard, has launched a mobile point of sale (mPOS) solution, which it said transforms smartphones and tablets into terminals that allow merchants to accept credit, debit and prepaid card payments from customers anytime, anywhere. The M1 mPOS solution is designed to meet the needs of traditionally cash-based small businesses, startups, and ‘on-the-go’ enterprises such as push-cart vendors and small cafés, to allow them to offer their customers the convenience of card payment, M1 said in a statement.
According to Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI) on June 21, the domestic mobile payment market has shown a steady increasing trend, already exceeding 3 trillion won (US$2.71 billion) in the first half of last year. Domestic payments have steadily increased every quarter from 1.127 trillion won (US$1.02 billion) in the first quarter of 2013 to 2.355 trillion won (US$2.13 billion) in the fourth quarter of the same year. Also, it posted 3.193 trillion won (US$2.88 billion) in the second quarter of last year.
Electronic bill payments may soon become the main form of payment in Myanmar, with the help of easyBills. Developed by 2C2P and the Myanmar Payment Union (MPU), easyBills aims to eliminate the traditional cash-based, over-the-counter method of payment. MPU is the national payment network of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar that authorises the issuance and acceptance of all payment cards within the country. There are almost a million MPU cards in Myanmar, and the number is set to grow rapidly, according to MPU.
South Korean electronics maker Samsung announced that the company will soon launch its mobile payment service Samsung Pay and will expand this service into Chinese and European markets. Injong Rhee, Samsung’s executive vice president, told investors during a company activity in Seoul that they plan to launch mobile payment services in South Korea and America in September 2015, which will be the same time of launching its next-generation flagship smartphone.
Search engine Google is reportedly in talks with Chinese phone makers on introducing its Play app store to the country, where the mobile market has recorded explosive growth, according to Shanghai’s China Business News. Sources told the newspaper that three of China’s six major handset makers–ZTE, Huawei, Coolpad, Lenovo, Vivo and Oppo–received offers from Google, which would pay US$1 for each phone that is pre-installed with a version of Google Play. “For Chinese handset makers that post thin margins, a subsidy of 6 yuan (US$1) is a lot,” said Wang Yanhui, director of Mobile China Alliance.
NEW DELHI: E-commerce major Snapdeal will allow its users across 200 cities to pay through their credit and debit cards when they opt for pay-on-delivery option. “The solution has been developed in partnership with GoJavas. Now customers can select the pay by card on delivery option, just like they would for COD. We are rolling this out in 120 cities,” Snapdeal vice-president operations Ashish Chitravanshi told PTI.
Shop owners in every township of Myanmar’s three largest cities have set up Red Dot terminals – machines that act as payment gateways allowing customers to top up mobile phones without scratch cards. Based in downtown Yangon, Red Dot offers technology and services that can streamline top-up sales and management for vendors, which is currently a clunky and involved process, according to Mr Whelan.
American retailer Wal-Mart has signed a deal with online payments provider Alipay to help consumers pay for goods in China. Wal-Mart will begin the cooperation within 25 of its outlets in Shenzhen. Based on the market response in this southern Chinese city, Wal-Mart plans to gradually expand the coverage of this new service throughout mainland China. Alipay is a related service of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce juggernaut. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
To enter Japan’s online payments market is to embrace battle with a hydra. Outstrip one competitor, another one grows just as a quickly. Well-known players include the likes of PayPal Japan, GMO Payment Gateway, and Rakuten Checkout. Nipping on their heels is a host of fast-growing payment-focused businesses led by Spike from Metapsand Line Pay with nascent services like Pay.jp from Base (Japan’s version of Shopify) waiting in the wings. Nevertheless, Stripe, the online payments wunderkind of Silicon Valley, announced its invitation-only private beta today, with an eye to having a full launch by the end of the year.
Face++, a face recognition tech startup from Beijing, today announced it raised an additional US$25 million as part of its series B round that began in November last year (h/t to 36kr). The fresh funding brings the company’s series B to a total of US$47 million. Innovation Works and Ignition Partners contributed to the initial funding, while the more recent investors have not yet been disclosed.
Chinese telecom firm Huawei said on Wednesday its mobile money platform is supporting the M-Pesa service for Kenyan mobile firm Safaricom after it successfully migrated 12.8 million active subscribers overnight. Huawei said migrating the service to its open, secure, flexible and high performing platform has realized the goal of “bringing M- Pesa home” to Safaricom users. Safaricom is partly owned by British firm Vodafone and the Kenyan government.
Kudo, an online-to-offline ecommerce startup from Jakarta, today announced a seven-digit funding round led by GREE Ventures and East Ventures (Disclosure: East Ventures also invests in Tech in Asia. See our ethics page). 500 Startups and IMJ Investment Partners also participated in the round. This new funding comes just a few months after Kudo announced its seed round from East Ventures in November 2014.
Imagine the day when scanning your face, waving your phone, or using some kind of a wearable are the new norms of paying for goods and services. The transactions could be anything – from buying a train ticket to sending money to a relative, buying clothes in the mall, or riding a jeepney. The world dreams of a cashless society. And as it acquires a multitude of non-cash payment options, this dream only comes closer. The progress of economies varies, though.
China’s tech giants are working hard to make sure that consumers use their phones to pay for things. Today Alipay Wallet, the Alibaba-affiliated mobile wallet, announced it now enables Chinese users to fulfill municipal fees in 12 cities. Clicking on a new “City Services” tab inside Alipay Wallet draws up a menu with options to book hospital appointments, pay for parking tickets, settle gas and water bills, and even buy gasoline. Users can also look up information regarding traffic and public transportation, and manage other minor bureaucratic tasks.
Bitcoin is a global phenomenon, but not everyone around the world uses it in the same way. Here in Asia, the way a person from the Philippines uses bitcoin is probably very different from how it’s used in Thailand, and both are very different from the typical user in Taiwan. Despite bitcoin being hailed as “borderless,” these use cases tend to vary by country due to factors like government policy, economics, and culture. To help visualize these trends, we reached out to half a dozen Bitcoin thought leaders from some of the region’s most prominent bitcoin businesses.
NSW residents should be able to pay for a licence renewal or parking fine with PayPal, Apple Pay from their smartphone, or streamlined credit card payment processes like Visa Checkout within 12 months. NSW Minister for Finance and Services Dominic Perrottet today announced the state government would integrate the modern payment capabilities into Service NSW’s new whole-of-government payments platform.
Hong Kong-based bitcoin remittance startup Bitspark announced today that it has closed a new funding round and secured a new security partnership to strengthen its offerings. Details of the funding round were not disclosed, but Bitspark says the total sum was “six figures” (USD) and that the round was driven by “prominent financial technology investors and executives.” The company says this latest round will help it expand its service offerings.
A year after China began tightening regulations around Bitcoin, the virtual currency is still thriving in the country, albeit on the fringes, according to its largest exchange. Bitcoin prices may have declined, but Chinese buyers are still trading the currency in high volumes with the help of BTC China, an exchange that witnessed the boom days back in 2013, only to see the bust following the Chinese government’s announcement, in December of that year, that banks would be banned from trading in bitcoin.