Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes Finland-based OP Financial Group’s facial recognition payments pilot. In addition, DOCOMO Digital is teaming up with Vodacom in Tanzania for payments through carrier billing, and MC Payments has unveiled a soft launch of the Instapay platform in Indonesia.
Finland’s OP Financial Group is testing out payments through facial recognition at the company’s staff restaurant in Helsinki, the company said in an announcement. With the technology, a customer’s face is compared to a face map that is captured through a camera. The pilot is being conducted at the Antell restaurant on the company’s premises, in collaboration with Visa. In the announcement, the company said that “facial recognition payments are expected to be the next big trend.”
DOCOMO Digital is teaming up with Vodacom in Tanzania to provide consumers with the ability to pay for Google Play Store content through Vodacom Airtime, mobile phone bill or prepaid balance, the companies said in an announcement. The service can be used by over 12 million Vodacom customers in Tanzania who use an Android table or smartphone. In the announcement, DOCOMO Digital CEO Hiroyuki Sato said Tanzania is a key market, and the country “remains largely unbanked, with only 15 percent of the population managing traditional bank accounts.”
In other news, Alipay and the Singapore Tourism Board teamed up to create a “cashless” trip for Chinese tourists, according to an announcement. To offer their support, businesses in Singapore, such as Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore Airlines and Resorts World Sentosa, accepted Alipay during the journey. Nielsen data indicates that 65 percent of Chinese tourists use mobile payments while traveling outside the country, compared to 11 percent of non-Chinese tourists.
And MC Payments has unveiled a soft launch of the Instapay platform in Indonesia, which is a platform geared toward small to mid-sized businesses, according to reports. The system allows merchants to invoice their customers through social media channels. At the same time, the company plans to bring other services to market in the coming months, such as installments for SMBs and micro financing.