Ant Financial Cooperates With Fuzhou To Develop Cashless Society

Ant Financial, the financial arm of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has clinched an agreement with Fuzhou to develop a cashless society.

Fuzhou will be the third Chinese to develop a cashless shopping environment together with Ant Financial following Hangzhou and Wuhan. This cashless development will be supported by an alliance which has been formed between Ant Financial and over 20 institutions including Fuzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce and State Grid Fujian Electric Power Company.

The campaign is expected to help over 90% of merchants and businesses in the city to operate cashless by the end of this year.

Currently, 95% of the taxi fleet, 85% of supermarkets and convenience stores and 80% of restaurants accept mobile payments and customers between 20 and 40 years old make up 80% of all these users.

In the partnership, Ant Financials, through its Alipay payment service, will aid the city in a few areas of development, namely transport, commercial and government services. These developments will set up the infrastructure which allows residents in Fuzhou to shop and travel simply with a smart phone.

According to RFi Group’s data on payments, Alipay is among the top 3 most important payment methods in China, with 74% of the banking population having used it in the last 12 months.

Safaricom Looks to PhotoID to Curb M-Pesa Fraud

Safaricom is set to give merchants access to photo identification technology in a bid to reduce fraud on its m-Pesa platform, Business Daily reported.

According to the newspaper, Safaricom is already distributing pre-programmed smartphones to m-Pesa agents to verify the identity of customers. These handsets have software built-in to enable verification against images taken when the SIM card was purchased and other nationally held data.

Vendors with the devices will also be required to take images of all new registrants, which will then be stored in a database for verification of future transactions. This is in addition to current procedures, which include recording the new user’s name, ID card number and postal address.

M-Pesa is Kenya’s dominant mobile payment service and become a blueprint for similar services across developing markets. However, its wide usage also made the platform and its users a target for criminals.

In addition to well-documented hacking attempts against the company, there are regular reports in the Kenyan media of scams targeted at users to extort money using the platform.

Announcing the new photo ID scheme, Safaricom corporate affairs director Stephen Chege told the publication the new system of registration would eliminate the use of stolen personal ID to commit fraud.

Source: Mobile World Live

Stripe Enables Merchants To Accept Alipay and WeChat Pay

Silicon Valley payments company Stripe has partnered with digital payment providers Alipay and WeChat Pay to enable merchants using its platform globally to accept payments from hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers.

Starting Sunday, the partnerships allows online merchants using Stripe to integrate the ability for Chinese users to pay with Alipay and WeChat Pay on their websites, the company said.

Stripe hopes the integration will help boost its revenues by allowing clients to tap China’s vast consumer market, where credit cards account for only a fraction of online spending, the company said.

See the full article here.

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.