Visa opens innovation center in Singapore

SingaporeEnterprise Innovation — Visa unveiled a 7,000 square foot innovation facility in Singapore as a destination for clients, partners and developers across the region to work alongside Visa experts and jointly create the next generation of commerce applications.

Alibaba’s Ant Financial raises record $4.5bn

ChinaNikkei — HONG KONG — A financial affiliate of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding has received $4.5 billion from state-backed investors, in a fundraising round said to be the biggest ever for a privately held Internet company.

Mobile money regulations released, from Myanmar

MyanmarMyanmar Times  — The Central Bank announced yesterday that it had issued rules on mobile financial services at the end of last month to build an enabling regulatory framework for efficient and secure mobile financial services in Myanmar. For some, the country seems primed for these services. Few of its 51.4 million population have bank accounts, and distrust of the financial sector remains high.

Singapore’s StarHub adds support for Apple Pay

SingaporeSingapore’s StarHub has introduced the ability for its customers to use Apple Pay for secure mobile payments. When customers use a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on the device. Each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique dynamic security code.

Mobile money service launched in Bangladesh

BangladeshTelecom Asia — Telecom Asia — Financial inclusion in Bangladesh just took a stride closer to reality with the launch of a new international remittance receiving service via a partnership between MasterCard, Western Union, bKash and BRAC Bank. The new service enables bKash’s registered customers to use their mobile phones to receive remittances from abroad directly into their bKash accounts.

Bitmex beats 475 startups to win Tech in Asia Singapore Arena

SingaporeTech on Asia — Bitmex, a financial trading platform that aims to let anyone bet on anything, has claimed the top prize at the Arena startup pitch battle at Tech in Asia Singapore 2016. The startup has clinched US$10,000 in cash. It also earlier won the Fintech Pitch Battle powered by DBS. Here’s our in-depth profile of Bitmex.

Fastacash bets on social media payments surge

SingaporeSMH — Payments business Fastacash is predicting a multibillion-dollar boom in money transfers between people via social media apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp, as it eyes a potential Australian listing. The Singapore-based firm, reported to be planning a float on the ASX, is one of several companies targeting the potential for consumers to use social media apps to send money, as well as pictures or videos, to friends or family.

Flipkart’s Ekart to deliver goods for Paytm

IndiaTimes of India — BENGALURU: Online marketplace Paytm is piloting a service where goods shipped from its platform will be delivered by Ekart, the logistics arm of Flipkart, signalling collaboration between the leader and a fast-growing rival in the fiercely competitive e-tail sector.

Singapore pilots NFC-enabled mobile phones for public transport payments

SingaporeEnterprise Innovation — Near Field Communication (NFC) technology would allow Singaporeans to pay for their public transport rides through their mobile phones. The Land Transport Authority (LTA), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), and EZ-Link recently concluded a joint trial with the mobile network operators and public transport operators on the use of compatible mobile phones.

Apple now accept payments through WeChat

ChinaAdd this to the list of things you can do with WeChat: buy Apple gadgets. Tencent’s messaging-app-cum-everything-platform announced Wednesday that support for WeChat Pay has been added to Apple’s official online stores in China. That means that you can now use WeChat pay for all of your Apple gadget and accessory needs.

Everything you need to know about payments, ecommerce, and venture capital in Indonesia

IndonesiaTech in Asia — Macquarie’s annual conference in Jakarta on telecoms, technology, and ecommerce is one you shouldn’t miss. Last week, it brought together top decision makers in Indonesia’s digital economy. Macquarie Group’s corporate advisory branch Macquarie Capital gained relevance in Asia’s tech industry through advising startups and tech companies on capital raising, IPOs, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Messaging app Line launches its own debit card

JapanTech in Asia — Messaging app Line said yesterday it will launch a prepaid card – called Line Pay Card – for shoppers. The announcement was made by director Jun Masuda onstage at the Japan-based company’s Line Conference Tokyo 2016 event. The Line Pay Card, made for Line’s 68 million Japanese users, is launched in partnership with credit card company JCB.

Singtel enables public transport payments through NFC

SingaporeZDNet — Singaporean incumbent telecommunications provider Singtel has announced the upcoming launch of its Transit NFC SIM, enabling customers to pay for train and bus trips using smartphones with near-field communication (NFC). Singtel customers across the island will be able to pay for MRT, LRT, and bus rides using an NFC phone that has the telco’s Dash app installed.

Huawei moves further into mobile payments

ChinaTelecom Asia — Apple and Samsung recognize that revenue from the sale of mobile devices, alone, cannot keep shareholders happy. With the vendors venturing into what is arguably one of the most exciting spaces in the financial services space – payments – it begs the questions of who will follow suit and whether the market can afford multiple payment providers.

SK Telecom’s T Pay attracts 100,000 subs

KoreaTelecom Asia — SK Telecom has revealed that its Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based mobile payment service T Pay has surpassed 100,000 subscribers just two weeks after launch. T Pay offers the ability for customers to pay for purchases without touching their phones, and be charged through carrier billing. It is based on a BLE payment platform developed by SK Telecom.

FreeCharge partners with payment gateway CCAvenue

IndiaTimes of India — BENGALURU: Snapdeal-owned digital payments platform FreeCharge has announced its partnership with payment gateway CCAvenue. The partnership will enable FreeCharge customers to have access to real-time, multi-currency online payment services as well as one lakh online merchants across sectors like hospitality, retail, education etc.

American Express reveals three-year old data breach, from AU

AustraliaIT News — American Express has notified US authorities that some of its card holder information was likely compromised almost three years ago after an unauthorised person or group accessed one of its merchants’ systems. The breach took place on 7 December 2013, but Amex said it had only now become aware of the intrusion.

Apple Pay to work with mobile websites by later this year: Report, from IN

IndiaTimes of India — Apple Inc will integrate Apple Pay with its Safari browser later this year, allowing users to make purchases from mobile websites, technology website Re/code reported, citing sources. The mobile payments system will be available to shoppers who use iPhone and iPad models that have the company’s fingerprint technology, Re/code reported.

IBM, MasterCard to offer big data platform for SMEs

APACTelecom Asia — IBM and MasterCard this week announced a partnership to give smaller merchants the chance to tap into the benefits of big data. The partnership will give merchants the ability to access real-time, analytics-based market insights on revenue, market share, customer demographics and competitors in a particular location and across multiple locations.

Tencent brings in revenues of nearly CNY103 billion for 2015

ChinaDigi Times — Tencent on March 17 released its financial report for 2015, with consolidated revenues of CNY102.863 billion (US$16.37 billion) increasing 30.32% on year, according to the company. There were 853 million active users of QQ and 697 million active users of WeChat instant messenger each month in 2015, Tencent said.

Philippines’ mobile wallet providers announce interoperability

PhilippinesEnterprise Innovation — Mobile money interoperability in the Philippines took a step forward with the successful integration of the digital payments mobile app of Paymaya Philippines, the digital financial services arm of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), with Globe Telecom’s mobile money service GCash. It is seen to boost the local digital commerce ecosystem.

Tencent maps out freemium empire with chat app

China.gifNikkei — HONG KONG — China’s Tencent Holdings is poised to spin its hit chat application into a unique digital economic sphere, leveraging its massive user base to take over the domestic market for premium smartphone-based services. The social networking giant’s WeChat smartphone app boasted nearly 700 million users at the end of 2015 — more than half of the national population.

Why Apple and Samsung have already lost the mobile payments war in China

ChinaTech in Asia — If you’re a smartphone company – even a big, successful one – looking to get into the Chinese market with your own mobile payments system, here’s a piece of advice: don’t. Over the last month, we’ve seen Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and even Huawei Payenter mainland China. There are reports that Xiaomi, ZTE, and Lenovo are working on their own services as well.

Square brings payment processing to Australia

AustraliaEnterprise Innovation — Square announced on Monday that it is bringing its payment processing and hardware to Australia. The country becomes the fourth international market for Square, after the United States, Canada and Japan. Square’s technology takes only minutes to set up and sellers can immediately begin accepting card payments via Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

WeChat Pay goes global in search of Chinese tourist dollars

China.gifTech in Asia — The battle over the Chinese epayment market is raging fiercely now that Apple Pay and Samsung Pay have taken to the field in China. But WeChat Pay is heading in the opposite direction: the service announced yesterday that it’s launching support for overseas vendors. The system will allow Chinese users to put money into their WeChat Pay accounts in RMB (as they currently do).

Xiaomi Prepares To Fight Apple Pay In China

China.gifChina Tech News — Apple made big news last week when its mobile payment service Apple Pay entered China. But China’s upstart mobile phone brand Xiaomi is fighting back. China’s Xiaomi acquired a 65% stake in Jiefu Ruitong, a Chinese third-party payment service provider for an undisclosed sum. Jiefu Ruitong reportedly completed an equity change on January 20, 2016, but it’s only now that the full information about the deal is hitting the media.

Digital wallets surge in popularity in APAC

APACTelecom Asia — Consumers in Asia Pacific are embracing new mobile technologies with one in five (19.5%) now using digital wallets, according to MasterCard. This represents a two-fold increase from just two years ago where adoption stood at 9.7%, a new mobile shopping survey by the  company indicates. The study took place between October and December 2015 and involved 8,500 people aged 18-64 across 14 markets in the Asia Pacific.

China UnionPay, Visa join hands for payment security, innovation and financial inclusion

China.gifEnterprise Innovation — China UnionPay (CUP) andVisa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Shanghai with both parties agreeing to collaborate on payments security, innovation and financial inclusion. The MOU was signed between Shi Wenchao, President of CUP, and Charlie Scharf, Chief Executive Officer of Visa Inc.

Apple And Samsung: The Drivers of NFC Mobile Payment Growth In 2016

KoreaDaze Info — The exploded adoption of smartphones has allowed manufacturers to embrace many mobile based solutions, most important of all being Mobile Payments. According to the latest study, titled Contactless Payments: NFC Handsets, Wearable & Payment Cards 2016-2020, from Juniper Research, the number of smartphone users making payments via their NFC based mobile payment solutions, i.e. Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, will reach 148 million in 2016.

Asia leads in mobility spending

APACEnterprise Innovation — Enterprise and consumer spending on mobile devices and related software and services in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) will grow at a CAGR of 3% from $514 billion in 2015 to $578 billion by 2019, making it the largest region in the world in terms of mobility related spend, according to IDC. IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Mobility Spending Guide shows software revenues will double from today’s levels, reaching $2 billion by 2019 as the app economy blossoms across the region.