New South Wales (NSW) is to build a single, centralised payments system for all agencies in the state to use, tender documents have revealed. Service NSW – the agency charged with bringing together all citizen-facing public services – has published documents seeking commercial interest in building the new system to handle online payments made by citizens.
Service NSW has revealed plans to introduce a single whole-of-government payments engine by the end of 2015 as part of its mission to overhaul the state’s customer-facing services. Service NSW is the young agency charged with consolidating government customer service channels traditionally run on an agency-by-agency basis. One of its projects this year is to bring Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) functions within its remit, meaning transactions like licence renewals and vehicle registration will increasingly be taken out of the road agency’s hands.
SMART e-Money, Inc. (SMI), the mobile financial solutions arm of Smart Communications, Inc., in partnership with Citi Philippines and Visa recently unveiled Charge2Phone or C2P, the country’s first sticker-based Near Field Communication (NFC) payment solution that is expected to revolutionize the way Filipino consumers pay for face-to-face and online transactions. This innovative payment technology enables Smart and Sun postpaid subscribers to use their phones not only for SMS, calls and browsing services, but also to pay for small-ticket items.
Singapore-based mobile payments provider MatchMove Pay today announced a “significant” investment round led by Japanese credit card and financial services company Credit Saison and joined by GMO Venture Partners. The funding amount was not disclosed. Japanese investors have exhibited a piqued interest in Southeast Asian tech companies, likely due in large part to their country’s rapidly shrinking and aging society coupled with a flat domestic economy with an ever-weakening yen.
INTERNATIONAL Data Corporation (IDC) expects the Asia Pacific mobility market to continue experiencing strong growth in 2015 as mobile takes centrestage for business growth in both consumer and enterprise markets. “The conditions couldn’t be better for strong mobility growth in the Asia Pacific region in the coming year,” said Ian Song, research manager for Enterprise Mobility at IDC Asia/Pacific.
Nearly all of the roughly US$370 million in bitcoin that disappeared in the February 2014 collapse of Mt. Gox probably vanished due to fraudulent transactions, with only 1 percent taken by hackers, according to a report in Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, citing sources close to a Tokyo police probe.
STOCKHOLM: European payment provider Klarna, which allows consumers to make online purchases using only their e-mail address and postcode with no pre-registration or credit cards, is exploring the possibility of setting up business in India. The Stockholm-based company is currently valued at around $1 billion and active in 16 countries.
Although mobile payments have been around for over half a decade, it wasn’t until the October launch of Apple Pay that U.S. consumers, banks and retailers rallied behind the technology. Samsung wants a piece of the action as well, and is reportedly working with U.S. startup LoopPay for a partnership as early as next year. The service will run on Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and potentially on Android Wear, Google’s new smartwatch OS. This would void the contract Samsung apparently wrote up with PayPal, putting the Here payment service on the watch.
After an unnamed (and hopefully still employed) Line staffer messaged several publications December 4 about the release of Line Pay, the messaging giant had to scramble to put out the word that the app was not live. Almost two weeks later, Line Pay is here, and enduring a bumpy rollout. The payment function is meant to strengthen Line’s ecosystem. With Line Pay, users can send each other money wirelessly without divulging personal information like bank account details.
Christmas has come early for Philippine Bitcoin remittance service Rebit.ph. Rebit, one of the verticals under Bitcoin umbrella company Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI), has booked an average 150 percent growth in value of transactions month-on-month since October. That’s a big jump from the usual 80 percent growth it registered during the first few months from its launch in July. The reason for the spike is obvious: remittances from overseas Filipinos usually peak in the run-up to Christmas because of holiday spending, and Rebit has been able to capture a portion of that market.
Quoine, a pan-Asian bitcoin exchange, announced it closed a US$2 million angel round of funding from a number of investors and private funds, according to Coindesk. The young exchange opened shop in June and, while it is officially incorporated in Singapore, does most of its business in Japan. It also recently launched an Indonesian-language site.
China Daily/Asia News Network– Shopping via mobile phones is fast becoming the main option for spending money in China, with transactions from the not-so-developed western region of the country being the driving force, a report said on Monday. The report, prepared by Alipay, the payment arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., said more than half of all online payment transactions were made with mobile phones so far this year.
The popular messaging app already hosts online auctions, connects users with celebrities and offers online gaming and now it’s adding mobile payments to its growing list of services. Line Pay, which was initially launched as a new service only for Japanese users in October, is about to go live, globally. Once a credit or debit card is linked to a user’s Line account, they will be able to use the app to make purchases at both supporting physical and online stores.
Currently, there are 17 epayment companies in Indonesia. Names like Veritrans, Coda, and 2c2p come to mind. Some people say competition is good for a tech startup scene. It forces the players in a given space to one-up each other to better serve a market. Folks like Peter Thiel may disagree, however, arguing “creative monopolies” are better. With this in mind, one question to answer is: Which school of thought can best be applied to Indonesia’s epayments space?
For those of you who’ve been living on the moon, bitcoin is an unregulated digital currency that provides a way for folks to transfer money to each other over the web without using a bank or financial institution as a middleman. All bitcoin users need to do is install a wallet app to start trading with bitcoin. The technology is disruptive and controversial because bitcoin spenders can make their transactions anonymously, and even pay for illegal goods and services like drugs and prostitution online.
Australia’s national criminal intelligence agency is tracking the use of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin on online black markets as part of its new ‘Project Longstrike’ operation. The Australian Crime Commission’s executive director of strategy and specialist capability, Judy Lind, today revealed the agency is now monitoring Bitcoin-enabled crime after spending the last two years building technologies capable of tracing Bitcoin transactions.
Global payments provider Swift has been signed under a 12 year contract to build and operate the infrastructure underlying the nation’s proposed central payments clearing utility. The ‘new payments platform’ (NPP) was borne out of a desire by the Reserve Bank of Australia to have all the nation’s financial institutions facilitating real-time payments by 2016.
Australia has a better prepared payment ecosystem for Apple Pay than the US, according to Infosys. Consulting and systems integration managing partner, Robert Liong, said all payments terminals in Australia are already accepting EMV chip and PIN-based cards.
When Mt. Gox, the former poster child for the wonders of Bitcoin, lost US$460 million worth of bitcoins in a hacking attack, the cryptocurrency world teetered on the brink of failure. Skeptics gained undeniable justification for their derision and public faith in the security of bitcoin exchanges dropped almost as precipitously as the currency’s value. Today, Mt. Gox, chastened and bankrupt, was essentially handed over to bitcoin exchange Kraken, officially turning the page on Bitcoin’s tumultuous first chapter.
China UnionPay has reportedly decided to launch a mobile payment service named “AndroidPay” for Android smartphones. According to reports in Chinese local media, several information sources confirmed the new service will reportedly be available in China in the third quarter of 2015. Several smartphone makers also confirmed the news. Cao Jingsheng, vice president of Coolpad Group, said that the company and China UnionPay have been discussing for over a month and both parties have strong willingness to cooperate, although there is no specific timeline yet. Cao said one of Coolpad’s high-end products will support this new service in 2015.