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Samsung's biometric payment phone: Though Apple is often credited with taking biometrics mainstream via its Touch ID fingerprint reader, Samsung has been steadily working on hands-free alternatives. Its ill-fated Note 7 — recalled due to dangerously faulty batteries — included an iris-scanning feature for unlocking the phone, and its upcoming S8 smartphone will reportedly use facial recognition to protect payments. The system, which has yet to be formally announced, would blend fingerprint, iris and facial recognition to authorize payments via Samsung Pay, Bloomberg reports. Such features will be vital to Samsung improving its tarnished reputation after the Note 7 incidents, as well as position the company to compete with whatever Apple is planning to include in its 10th anniversary iPhone this year, the article states.

Bloomberg News

First Data buying Acculynk: First Data is bulking up its e-commerce capabilities with an agreement to buy Acculynk. The deal unites First Data's e-commerce offerings with Acculynk's PaySecure debit routing system, the companies said in a press release. PaySecure allows e-commerce merchants to route debit payments over the lowest-cost rails available. As part of the acquisition, which has yet to close, First Data also gets Acculynk's PayGov government bill pay system and its Payzur P-to-P offering. Acculynk's other offerings address fraud and settlement times. "Acculynk has established itself as a leading technology innovator, and its debit routing technology allows First Data to broaden our e-commerce offerings for existing clients and new prospects," said Frank Bisignano, First Data's chairman and CEO, in the release.

Alexa branches out: Amazon's Alexa assistant already differs from many of its rivals in its focus on voice-enabled purchasing from Amazon's catalog. The latest addition extends its payments and commerce functions even further, allowing Amazon Alexa users to order food from Grubhub, Engadget reports. The Alexa "skill" can only suggest re-purchasing the last three meals a user ordered, plus it can estimate the delivery time before that favorite meal arrives.

Big data leak: Corporate America just got exposed. A 52GB database of nearly 33.7 million contact details for employees of U.S. corporations has been leaked, ZDNet reports. The database is owned by Dun & Bradstreet and is used for marketing purposes, but there wasn't a clear explanation for how the information was exposed, the article states. Dun & Bradstreet told ZDNet that although the information is "of a type and in a format that we deliver to customers every day," it did not believe its systems had been breached.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Australian banks call alternatives to NFC 'unrealistic' in fight to avoid using Apple Pay
AppleInsider • Malcolm Owen
Major banks in Australia find alternatives to NFC-based payments, such as Apple Pay, to be an "unrealistic" prospect to the Australian mobile payment marketplace, according to a submission provided to a government regulator, arguing for Apple to open up access of the...

Mastercard app lets you pay bar tab without leaving card
Daily Mail • Associated Press
The Open Tab feature in the U.S. and U.K., will be an upgrade to Mastercard's Qkr app, and will let people open, manage and close their tabs through their phone.

More from PaymentsSource

Can biometrics enable a one-product-fits-all approach to authentication?
In an increasingly digital world, retailers are working to bring transactions closer to the shopper and further away from traditional hardware.

A cross-border tuition payments company seeks its next niche
The surge of students seeking an overseas education in recent years powered rapid growth for Flywire, a Boston-based payments technology firm that handles cross-border tuition payments. It must now test whether the global network it built can serve the B-to-B market as well.

In-car payments up the 'cool factor' for mobile
As cars add web connectivity, the opportunity to embed payments are almost endless. It's an opportunity that's too big to ignore.

Sionic, CET target underbanked with mobile wallet rewards
Underbanked consumers will have an incentive to initiate mobile payments through PaySwag, an application that will issue rewards for using a smartphone to make a payment and allowing redemption at any time.

Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe is editor in chief at PaymentsSource and a contributing editor at American Banker.