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The UK-based mobile-only Starling Bank has announced the integration of Apple Pay for its customers.

 

The bank thus becomes the first bank in the UK to offer ‘in-app provisioning’, meaning that new customers will be able to load their card into their digital wallet with a single tap.

 

When using a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are stored on a unique Device Account Number, encrypted and stored in the Secure Element on the devices. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time security code.

 

Online shopping in apps and on websites accepting the payment solution no longer requires the need to manually fill out account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information. When paying for goods and services on the go in apps or Safari, the solution works with iPhone 6 and later, iPhone SE, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 and later. One can also use the payment solution in Safari on any Mac introduced in or after 2012 running macOS Sierra and confirm the payment with iPhone 6 or later or Apple Watch, or with Touch ID on the new MacBook Pro

 

SatoshiPay has teamed up with the IOTA Foundation, a non-profit that oversees network development, to explore replacing Bitcoin with IOTA as its settlement network.

 

Both parties have agreed to work on a proof-of-concept project, to be supported by the IOTA Ecosystem Fund, which would combine SatoshiPay’s content payment interface with IOTA’s technology. SatoshiPay is a company that processes nanopayment transactions usually in the form of Bitcoins and has been relying on the Bitcoin network to settle payments since its product launch in 2015.

 

The move aims to phase out its use of the Bitcoin blockchain, as the underlying technology that enables its transactions, and to switch to another blockchain because of issues with the escalating costs of micropayments.

 

The IOTA network, the 8th largest cryptocurrency by the total value of its supply, according to CoinDesk, claims zero-fee transactions and does not limit the number of transactions per second of its processing. By contrast, according to CoinDesk’s forthcoming State of Blockchain report, the average transaction fee for Bitcoin blockchain was around USD 2.41 per transaction during April 2017-June 2017, up from below USD 0.02 in 2015.

 

The results of the joint proof-of-concept are expected to be presented in August 2017, according to the IOTA foundation.

 

Samsung has announced a partnership with PayPal to allow Samsung Pay users to make in-app, online and in-store payments with the US payment platform.

 

The service will be available in the US first and will be expanded to other countries in the near future. 

 

Moreover, Samsung Pay will be accepted as a payment method in apps and online through Braintree, a US-based online payment provider, acquired by PayPal in 2013.

 

After its launch in August 2015, the payments platform is now available in 18 markets: the US, China, Spain, Singapore, Australia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Sweden, the UAE, Switzerland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the UK and Korea.

 


 

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.

 

PayPal has announced the introduction of PayPal Global Sellers, a cross-border trade service for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) in the US.

In collaboration with Webinterpret, the service addresses the commonly cited international growth barriers with a suite of tools, including: website translation, taxes/duties presentment, international shipping and return facilitation, or localized payments.

The service can be accessed by more than 562,000 US SMBs that started to sell online with PayPal in 2016. Moreover, merchants can also be covered by PayPal Seller Protection, which is aimed at protecting merchant’s eligible online sales, helping minimize claims and chargebacks, and preventing fraud.

The service is also available in the UK and Germany, and will be expanded to additional markets later in 2017.

 

China’s government has told telcos to block individuals’ access to virtual private networks (VPNs) by February 1. According to sources to Bloomberg, state-run telcos like China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom have been ordered to bar people from using VPNs – tools perceived as a loophole around the Great Firewall.

 

China’s access to the internet is an extremely restricted one, heavily censored with the intent of suppressing dissent. Plugging holes in the Great Firewall is in line with President Xi Jinping’s ‘cyber sovereignty’ campaign.

 

Businesses and corporations are reportedly exempt from this if they keep their VPN use internal, but they will have to lease lines with access to the internet as is known by the rest of the world, with their usage of such services registered for the record.

 

So while corporations can still access the free internet, it’s no dice for individuals, especially those who do not work for any corporation with corporate VPNs.

 

Tencent has applied for a license in Malaysia to offer local payment services via its WeChat Pay, reports Reuters.

 

If approved, users in Malaysia will be able to link their local bank accounts to WeChat Pay and pay for goods and services in ringgit.

 

WeChat Pay and Alibaba Group’s affiliate Alipay are turning China cashless by enabling payments or money transfers via code scan.

 

The pair are also expanding internationally in tandem with outbound tourism, getting more businesses to accept their services which allow users to make payments using bank accounts in China without complications posed by currency exchange.

 

Licenses for such cross-border payments differ from those required for local payment services. Hong Kong is currently the only location outside mainland China where WeChat Pay and Alipay offer payment services executed entirely in the local currency.

 

Alipay introduced a separate app for the Hong Kong market in May, its first non-yuan payment app.

 

Have you ever woken up one morning, looked out the window, and said “I’m going to go out and buy myself a Samsung Galaxy S8, and I want it in that gorgeous Coral Blue color.”?

 

If the answer to that question is yes, then you’ll be happy to know that Samsung Malaysia has officially launched the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in the Coral Blue variant in Malaysia.

 

Samsung says that they specifically chose blue due to its popularity as a color in no less than 10 countries across four continents. That, and the fact that the color is widely believed to be associated with intelligence and high perception.

 

The Coral Blue Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be available at all Samsung stores and authorized resellers starting today, and they will retail for RM3,299 and RM3,699, respectively.

 

If you can look past the nostalgic feel-good vibes of the new Nokia 3310, you would realize that the phone itself really isn’t anything to rave about.

 

But no matter, as Caviar, a Russian-Italian luxury smartphone customizer, decided to take matters into their own hands by sprucing up the Nokia 3310 with precious metals like titanium and gold, effectively rendering it completely shockproof. Did we also mention that the back of the device features a double profile of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his United States counterpart, Donald Trump, in gold?

 

Why these two gentlemen, in particular? We’d guess that it has something to do with them being the leaders of two of the most powerful countries in the world, and also the fact that they will be meeting each other later today during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Don’t take our word for it – the logo of the summit is actually engraved in the center of the device’s navigation buttons, while the date of the meeting (7/7/2017) is prominently featured below their portraits, in gold no less.

 

You can pay tribute to either of the two presidents by purchasing this custom-made Nokia 3310 for 149,000 rubles (~RM10,648). Let’s be honest, for that kind of money, why bother getting 44 ordinary Nokia 3310s when you can get one very special gold and titanium-plated one, right? Quality over quantity. Always.

 

Google Maps now lets you flag places to be wheelchair-friendly. Previously, you had to rely on “Local Guides” – other users – to tell you about places. Now flags can be left permanently to tell others who visit later.

According to Google, nearly seven million places now have accessibility information listed on Google Maps ever since this was implemented yesterday.

That said, everything is about wheelchairs right now – wheelchair-accessible entrances, wheelchair-accessible elevators, wheelchair-accessible seating and wheelchair-accessible parking. What we tend to see more often here are stuff for the visually impaired. We’re sure our fellow Malaysians will get really busy tagging places with blind tracks and Braille on elevator buttons.