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Already worn out?: Wearables have been a big topic of conversation among payment companies the past couple of years as competitors seek new and innovative ways to embed transaction capabilities in items like rings, gloves and watches. But the market for the underlying technology has proven to be lukewarm at best, if not downright cold. eMarketer has lowered its outlook for wearable technology, saying it's not grown much beyond the early adopters and young people--about 30% of consumers aged 18 to 34 will use wearables in 2017. The company anticipates the market will grow just 25% this year, down from 60% in its earlier outlook in 2015. And this year, about 40 million U.S. adults will use a wearable device at least once per month, less than the 64 million previously forecast. eMarketer says the lack of a use case and high price are part of the problem, which gives payment companies some hope if they can convince people to use smartwatches to buy things.

Debit card from a smart bot: San Francisco-based Varo has partnered with AI provider Kasisto to support Val, a smart bot inside Varo's mobile app that will execute payments and other financial transactions. Finextra reports the app will support a debit card, savings and lending and will give its consumers "conversational" recommendations from a digital money coach and smart bot named Val. The collaboration combines two relatively new trends in financial services, bots and digital assistants. It's still very early stage for both types of technology, though Kasisto and Varo expect to build a base among millennials when the app debuts in early 2017.

EU is worried about fear: European mobile payment adoption is threatened by its own success, causing a corresponding "explosive proliferation" of viruses and malware that could cool consumer enthusiasm for the channel, according to the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security. Mobile World Live reports mobile wallet service providers need to address these security concerns and provide more visible safety features to ease people's minds. The advice is in some ways about marketing--the EU said mobile operating systems do have solid security options, but consumers often do not know these protections exist, or can't find them. Mobile World Live also reports the EU has issued a similar warning to merchants to improve the visibility of mobile point of sale protection in the same way.

Faster authorization for faster payments: Boloro is planning a global launch of a security product that enables consumers to authenticate mobile transactions via a PIN. The New York-based company announced South Africa is the first market for the system, which uses secure messaging over the mobile operator's network to ask users to authorize, then execute, transactions in real time. This authorization operates on top of Boloro's other multi factor authentication tools. Boloro hopes to address the growing concern that digital payments and other 'faster payment' initiatives will stress existing fraud prevention and ID risk tools.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

The 2 Sides Of Mobile Payments: $92 Billion Vs. $296 Billion
MediaPost • Chuck Martin
There are mobile payments and then there are mobile payments. Put another way, paying by phone can take more than one way. While in a store, consumers face a number of ways to use their smartphone to pay.

Retail brands lag behind mobile consumer expectations
Chain Store Age • Jmosscrop
Deena M. Amato-McCoy The future of retail is mobile. Yet, brands are failing to keep pace with consumer expectations.

NCR's omnichannel strategy pays off
Business Insider • B.I. Intelligence
Payments technology vendor NCR's unified commerce platform is continuing to gain acceptance, which indicates the firm’s strategy is “resonating” in the market.

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EMV is winning the battle against fraud
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Citi names new head of global payments, receivables
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Cardlay raises $4M for bank card management tech
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John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is Executive Editor of PaymentsSource.