Walmart tests iPhone "Scan & Go" feature

Reuters

Walmart Stores Inc (Bentonville, USA) is testing a "Scan & Go" system that would allow shoppers to scan items using their iPhones and then quickly pay at a self-checkout counter.

If the test by the world's largest retailer is successful, it has the potential to change the way people shop and pay, making the process more personal and potentially faster.

IBM and Vodafone team up on 'smarter home' initiative

IT giant IBM (New York, USA) and telecoms operator Vodafone (Newbury, UK) have announced plans to combine their expertise in cloud computing and mobile communications as part of a ‘smarter home’ initiative.

The companies hope to spur the development of ‘smart home’ appliances that can be managed remotely.

Square to sell card readers at AT&T stores

Reuters

Mobile payments company Square Inc's credit card readers will be sold at AT&T Inc's stores making them more accessible, as the two-year old start-up takes on established payment processors.

Square (San Francisco, USA), started by Twitter Inc (San Francisco, USA) co-founder Jack Dorsey, signed the No. 2. U.S. carrier on Tuesday, adding to growing list of retailers, including Radioshack Corp (Fort Worth, USA), Best Buy Inc (Richfield, USA) and Apple Inc (Cupertino, USA), that sell its card readers.

Everything Everywhere signs new m-payments deal with MasterCard

The UK’s mobile payments market suffered further fragmentation earlier this week with the news that Everything Everywhere (London, UK) had signed a new five-year deal with MasterCard (Purchase, USA).

Details of the collaboration are few, but the companies say one of their first products will be a prepaid service for mobile devices allowing customers to make payments using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology.

PayPal deepens retail drive in Discover payments deal

Reuters

EBay Inc's PayPal (San Jose, USA) online payments service has gained access to millions of stores across the United States through an agreement with Discover Financial Services (Riverwoods, USA), extending its reach beyond the Web and into the physical world.

Under the deal unveiled on Wednesday, PayPal will issue payment cards to its more than 50 million active users in the United States next year, which they can use to buy from merchants that already use Discover Network, which links more than 7 million U.S. retail locations.

Telefonica and Arduino team up on M2M

Spanish telecoms operator Telefónica (Madrid, Spain) has teamed up with electronics specialist Arduino (London, UK) on the development of a new programmable electronic board with M2M capabilities.

Arduino boards are already used to connect sensors and control applications ranging from lighting to motors, but the new-look board developed with the Spanish operator incorporates remote monitoring capabilities, with a GPRS/GSM connection that links the hardware motherboard with Telefónica’s M2M service.

AT&T refarming to have little impact on M2M growth: analyst

A leading analyst company has called into question the claims that AT&T’s shutdown of its 2G network could leave M2M customers stranded.

The US operator recently announced plans to gradually phase out its 2G network, shifting customers and spectrum over to 3G and 4G technologies, and that a full transition would be finalized by 2017.

The news was met with a chorus of criticism that M2M customers would be left out in the cold, forced to change providers or pay AT&T higher rates for 3G or 4G connections.

TNS and Telstra form wireless payments partnership

Australian telecoms operator Telstra has formed a partnership with Transaction Network Services (TNS), a data communications company, aimed at providing services to Australian organizations that operate wireless payment devices.

Under the agreement, TNS is to use Telstra’s M2M Wireless Control Center to improve its managed wireless service. The partnership should allow TNS to expand its network reach in Australia as well as streamline its operations through the use of a single web-based interface for SIM card ordering, provisioning, activation and management.

PayPal could heat up mobile payments race if McDonald's test pays off

Reuters

PayPal is in the early stages of what may be a blockbuster mobile payments deal with McDonald's Corp, the world's biggest hamburger chain.

McDonald's is testing a mobile payments service featuring PayPal at 30 of its restaurants in France.

Earlier this year, McDonald's ran demonstrations of a broader PayPal mobile payments service at its franchisee conference in Orlando, Florida.

A McDonald's spokeswoman confirmed the France tests and said the PayPal demonstration at its conference was part of a booth that features "technology coming within the next 24 months or so."

RIM plans new contact management features on BB10 devices

Reuters

Research In Motion plans to provide BlackBerry users with an easy way to tap their contacts' public profiles -- including blog posts, tweets, emails and other details -- in its latest push to regain ground in the smartphone market.

The new contact management feature, which pulls in contact details from social media and other Internet sites into a single Blackberry page, will be available on RIM's next generation of smartphones that are set to launch early next year, the company said on Thursday.