The last few months have seen numerous innovations in the payments industry, including:
- MasterCard plans to launch the facial recognition payment service (also known as "selfie pay") in the UK. This is designed to improve identity verification for mobile phone payments. Trialled with pilot schemes in the US and Netherlands, MasterCard said the system will become available in 14 other countries in the near future.
- Apple is set to launch one-touch shopping to the mobile web later this year, enabling consumers with Safari browsers running on phones and tablets to use Apple Pay and TouchID to make a purchase. Apple has already introduced the one-touch feature in relation to in-app purchases for iOS mobile apps, but integration with Safari would extend the experience to online shopping sites.
- Android Pay is set to launch sometime in the next few months. Android Pay will support MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards for tap and pay payments at 460,000 contactless terminals across the UK and can also be used to buy goods in third-party apps, saving users from re-keying payments details in multiple apps.
- Five of Switzerland’s biggest banks are reported to be discussing a joint mobile payments platform for the country with top retailers. The aim is to create a standardised pan-Swiss digital payment system for consumers. A joint statement said the talks by banks UBS, Credit Suisse, PostFinance, Raiffeisen and ZKB should produce initial results by early May. Any platform would be open to other partners.
- Google is currently testing a new app enabling customers to make payments with only voice commands. Hands Free uses face biometrics and the phone’s location to verify the payment and is currently available on Android and iOS devices at selected stores in San Francisco.