Tencent Partners with Wirecard to Launch WeChat Pay in Europe

Tencent has partnered with Wirecard, a Germany-based payments service provider, to launch its WeChat Pay payments service in Europe.

European retailers will be able to accept payments made via WeChat Pay, a social media application that incorporates P2P and mobile payments. The new payments method will be implemented by Wirecard.

The launch of the payments service in Europe is aimed at Chinese tourists, who prefer to make mobile payments when shopping overseas. They have also been the largest spending group of tourists in Europe, spending more than USD 261 billion abroad.

The launch of WeChat Pay in Europe will put Tencent in direct competition with Alipay, which has been present on the continent since 2015. Both Chinese payments services have been made available via Wirecard, which acts as an acquirer, centralizing and processing all the transactions for a retailer.

Chinese tourists can open their WeChat wallet feature, show the barcode on their smartphone to the retailer, and the shop assistant will scan the code to activate the payment process. The solution will be ready to go live in November 2017.

Swiss City Plans to Verify IDs Using Ethereum

The City of Zug has announced plans to launch a new Ethereum-based identity service in September 2017.

The Swiss city will offer digital identity services through a new app, connecting a person’s ID with a particular crypto-address. Thus, local citizens can register and are verified by city officials. On the technology side, the app will leverage the uPort identity platform created by Ethereum development community ConsenSys. Also involved on the development front is the Swiss startup ti&m and the Lucerne University of Economics.

Zug plans to hold a consultative vote on electronic ballot access, expected to take place in 2018. According to CoinDesk, the city has become a major hub for digital currency and blockchain startups, buoyed by a proactive government that has sought to attract more startups to Switzerland.

Source: The Paypers

HSBC, Barclays To Test Digital ID For Cross-Border Banking

HSBC and Barclays have joined several private and public sector organisations to test the use of digital ID in cross-border banking.

The group, which includes HSBC, Barclays, the UK Government Digital Service (GDS), Orange, OT-Morpho and the Open Identity Exchange (OIX UK), has launched the project by testing the opening of a bank account in the UK using a citizen’s digital identity from France. Additional funding for the project comes from European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility, a funding instrument to support the development of interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services.

According to HSBC, the biggest effect that this project could have is to eliminate the need for a separate set of identification paperwork when opening a bank account in another country. A digital ID allows banks to share data and verify the client’s identity regardless of nationality.

The group will also use the mobile connect authentication process allowing the user to request a digital ID that is validated via eIDAS. These services will be developed and provided by Orange.

Source: The Paypers

Verizon Customer Data Leak Exposes 14 Million Records

Around 14 million Verizon customers’ sensitive data was exposed online because a third-party contractor forgot to limit external access to an Amazon S3 server.

The server belongs to NICE Systems, an Israeli tech company involved in supplying software for back-office and call centre operations, according to UpGuard, a cyber-security company that discovered the leak.

Bleeping Computer explains how the server and its data were accessible, and that details such as Verizon customer names, addresses, account details, and for some account PINs, were accessed from January 2017 through June 2017.

Moreover, data from French mobile operator Orange was also exposed as the same NICE Systems server contained data from the mobile telco, but unlike the Verizon data, the Orange folder contained what appeared to be internal files, not as sensitive as the data stored in the Verizon directory, the online publication continues.

Experts say they contacted Verizon and NICE on June 13, when they discovered the server, but the leak was fixed nine days later on June 22.

Source: The Paypers

Apple Adds PayPal as a Payment Option

Apple has announced that it will enable PayPal payments in its digital stores, including iTunes, iBooks, Apple Music and the App Store.

The deal struck on 11 July 2017 will enable Apple customers in US, UK, Canada, Mexico, Australia and parts of Europe to choose PayPal as a payment option. The US-based payments service provider has also stated that it will integrate with Siri and bring the One Touch feature to Apple ID accounts, allowing for faster purchases.

Customers with an Apple ID will be able to select “PayPal” as a preferred payment method, which will make it the default payment method and all future purchases will be charged to the PayPal account. This includes one-time purchases as well as monthly fees such as Apple Music subscriptions and iCloud storage.

PayPal will also be added as a payment option directly on iOS, the company says. This will be available in all 12 markets, including the U.S. Dates to be announced.