What happened this week in payments

Alipay launches facial recognition payments in China

Fast-food chain KFC has rolled out Alipay’s ‘smile to pay’ facial recognition service in Hangzhou, China, that allows consumers to pay for their food just their smile and mobile number.

All a consumer needs to do is use the Alipay app and enable facial recognition. Then, consumers just need to look at the 3D camera embedded in the digital scans that scan a customer’s face to verify their identity, and then the payment.

Starling Bank enables Android Pay payments

Starling Bank, the challenger bank that recently launched the first mobile-only current account in the UK market, has introduced Android PayT to its app. The update allows Android users a fast and stress-free way to pay securely using their phone.

Android Pay is an efficient purchasing tool designed to ease payments and will allow Starling Bank customers to pay via phone by simply waking up their device and holding it to pay terminals without opening either the app or digital wallet.

Julian Sawyer, Chief Operating Officer at Starling Bank, said: ‘’We are immensely pleased to be launching the Starling Bank integration with Android Pay, as this will help give our customers a greater sense of financial freedom and control. This has been a long-awaited update, for both Starling and our users, and we see this as a milestone in delivering an exceptional customer experience and speeding up the way you pay.’’

PayPal has launched a credit card with 2% cashback

PayPal has launched a new credit card called the PayPal Cashback MasterCard that will offer 2% cashback on every online and in-store purchase.

The credit card will have no annual fee and no restrictions on how to spend. The move comes after Chief Executive Dan Schulman’s effort to address the 2bn financially excluded consumers.

Darrell Esch, VP Commercial Officer of Global Credit, says that trials of the card have shown that customers are using PayPal more not only in stores but also online.

“Our goal is to provide our customers choice and flexibility in how they pay when making purchases – whether online or in store. The PayPal Cashback Mastercard provides our customers with another innovative consumer credit option, making the payment experience seamless for each customer’s unique lifestyle.”

Amex launches new mobile app payments feature

American Express has launched a new feature on its app called ‘Pay It Plan It’. The feature brings in two new payment methods for Amex credit card holders.

Consumers can choose to pay for small purchases under $100 straight away or pay down larger sums towards payments of over $100 with a monthly payment, with a fixed fee and no interest.

The service will be rolled out to US credit card customers first.

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