12.14.18 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Big contracts down under
The New South Wales Government has added ANZ and Citigroup to WestPac as the banks that manage its transactions.
It's one of the largest government contracts of any kind in Australia, reports Australia's Financial Review. ANZ and Westpac will support the government's transaction banking, payments and cross-border transactions, while Citi will manage the government's payment cards.
The New South Wales government makes about 13 million direct debit payments and 1 million credit card payments each year, according to the Financial Review.
License to bank
London-based digital payment company Revolut has been adding territory and products over the past year and has won a long-sought regulatory victory that will boost its momentum.
The European Central Bank has granted a banking license to Revolut, enabling the company to offer lending, overdraft protection, accounts, which it plans to debut in the U.K., France, Germany, Poland and other markets in 2019, CNBC reports.
Consumers will also be able to deposit salaries directly into Revolut accounts with the European Deposit Insurance Scheme covering up to about $140,000.
Samsung Pay has debuted support for smartwatches in South Africa, though there are some limitations.
Payments can be made only at NFC terminals, which leaves out Gear S3 devices, according to Sammobile, which adds non-contactless point of sale terminals will not be available.
Consumers will use Samsung watches by registering cards with Samsung Pay via the Galaxy Wearable app on a Samsung smartphone, then holding the watch near a NFC terminal for a second, then tapping "pay."
Danske bank is the first large bank in Northern Ireland to adopt open banking, placing a feature in its mobile app that supports viewing account information from another bank.
Open banking is spurred by regulation such as PSD2 and GDPR, and is expected to improve data sharing and access to payment apps and other financial technology.
Irish News reports consumers who have personal accounts at Santander can view those balances upon log in, with more banks, firms and features expected in the coming months.
Bitcoin bomb threat
Businesses and other facilities across the U.S. were evacuated after bomb threats that demanded bitcoin as ransom.
The threats appeared to have been hoaxes, reports NBC News, which adds the threats came via a mix of email and phone messages.
The FBI was in touch with local police, according to NBC, and the New York Police Department's counter terrorism unit reported multiple bomb threats but added none were considered credible.
From the Web
Alibaba brings face-scan payments to tablet for shopkeepers
Nikkei Asian Review | Thu December 13, 2018 - Alibaba Group Holding's financial unit has developed a tablet for stores that lets shoppers pay with their face instead of their phone, the Chinese company said Thursday. Consumers whose faces are registered can check out without scanning a QR code displayed on their smartphone, a popular payment method in China.
They said it couldn't be done: Commonwealth Bank gives in to Apple Pay
ZDNet | Fri December 14, 2018 - The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) on Friday revealed through a tweet that it is in fact possible to launch Apple Pay and it will be doing so as soon as next month, ending the boycott that officially started in mid-2016. "Apple Pay is coming for CommBank personal customers January 2019," the bank wrote.
Robinhood launches no-fee checking/savings with Mastercard & the most ATMs
TechCrunch | Thu December 13, 2018 - Robinhood is undercutting the big banks by forgoing brick-and-mortar branches with its new zero-fee checking and savings account features. With no overdraft or monthly fees, a juicy 3 percent interest rate and a claim of more U.S. ATMs than the five biggest banks combined, Robinhood is using the scalability of software to pass impressive perks on to customers.
More from PaymentsSource
Data: The reality of mobile payments
Mobile payments technology has fallen short of expectations in major markets, particularly the U.S., where less than 10 percent of consumers routinely use devices to pay in stores — despite more than four years of aggressive development from large technology companies and banks.
E-commerce giants are finding new ways to pressure traditional delivery
Amazon and Shopify will likely improve and expand the “last mile” for e-commerce orders, putting the heat on UPS and FedEx, according to Radu Spineanu, co-founder and CEO of Two Tap.
ShopKeep raises funds to fuel its point of sale battle with Square
Cloud-based point of sale company ShopKeep is in a fierce fintech battle to woo tech hungry restaurants, and has closed a $65 million round of equity and debt financing to bulk up technology and broaden its geographic footprint.
Ingo Money, Visa Direct power quicker push-to-card payments
Digital funds transfer provider Ingo Money is launching a new software integration with Visa Direct to allow customers to initiate push-to-card payments.