Welcome to The Axis, your look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes Island Pay’s contactless payments rollout in the Bahamas. In other news, UnionPay International is bringing the UnionPay app to Macau and Hong Kong, and U.K.-based PrePay Solutions has rolled out Google Pay functionality through Monese.
Island Pay plans to roll out a digital cash service called the Contactless Companion Platform (CCP), which will enable consumers to load money onto fobs, cards and wearable items, the company said in an announcement. With the new offering, Bahamians as well as visitors can make contactless payments with each other and to Island Pay merchants. The platform will run on Samsung Semiconductor secure chip technology, as well as software from the Swiss FinTech firm Smartlink.
“By adding Smartlink to the Island Pay platform, we bring immediate, critical benefits to our Bahamian customers, including easy bill payment, mobile top-up and merchant solutions,” Island Pay CEO Frank Svatousek said in the announcement. “The launch of the Island Pay cashless payment system, licensed by the Central Bank of The Bahamas, comes at a time when brick-and-mortar banks are reducing their footprint, allowing us to serve the underbanked as well as the unbanked.”
In other news, U.K.-based PrePay Solutions has brought Google Pay functionality through Monese, according to reports. With the rollout, customers can bring Monese debit cards to Google Pay accounts. In addition, they can use Android devices to make contactless payments.
And UnionPay International is launching the UnionPay app in Macau and Hong Kong to bring a mobile payment experience to the markets, according to reports. With the offering, customers in Hong Kong and Macau can connect UnionPay cards with the app to use mobile payments within and outside of those regions. The platform was created and is jointly run by UnionPay along with commercial banks.
The news comes as 14 percent of Hong Kong respondents surveyed said they plan to use mobile payments, while 30 percent of the surveyed consumers had experience with mobile payments. In terms of reasons for using mobile payments, more than half – 55 percent – of the consumers in the survey cited “quick transactions.” But there were some obstacles: 68 percent of respondents said barriers to usage had to do with “unfamiliarity with the operation,” while 55 percent were concerned with “personal data leakage.”