News Roundup: China’s Cashless Commute

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China makes a major cashless play, Shopify launches new hardware, and Idaho makes paying child support easier in a roundup of this week’s news.

Hangzhou International Airport is planning to become the world’s first “cashless” airport with help from Alipay, according to a report in the Global Times. The leading payment facilitator and other partners will help travelers pay for flights, car rentals and accommodations. Services supported by the partnerships will include travel bookings, parking, shopping and catering as well, the report said.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has made it for the state’s citizens to pay child support online wherever they are, by optimizing its online payment service for mobile devices. Users access the service to make child support payments as well as to view their payment history and case summary.

According to Access Idaho, 58% of Idaho’s citizens use the mobile phone as their primary means of accessing the internet. Access Idaho manages Idaho’s web site and the online payments portal. It is a part of NIC, a provider of technology services for governments.

Shopify rolled out several product announcements at its developer conference last week. Among the most talked-about was its new Chip and Swipe Reader, a wireless card reader that allows its merchants to sell in-person. The reader, which the company said was its first venture into creating hardware in-house, connects directly with sellers’ Shopify stores.

The company referred to the readers as an “entry-level” option that enables merchants to take their business to festivals and markets. Speaking to PaymentFacilitator.com, Rick Oglesby, Double Diamond Group partner and principal of AZ Payments Group, characterized the reader as way for Shopify to support its clients in their growth.

“Most small merchants, like the ones that Shopify and Square target, are single-channel merchants. Square is much stronger with single channel merchants that focus on in-person transactions while Shopify is much stronger with merchants that sell online,” Oglesby said.

“However, many merchants, regardless of their primary channel, like to have multiple sales channels and approaches. Shopify and others can support their customers’ alternative channel needs with alternative offerings. For Shopify, this means adding a card reader option.”

Shopify also offers a card reader for more established retail spaces.

Online payments provider PayU is launching Visa Checkout for its merchant clients in Poland. That is according to a report in Finextra. The payment method will be available first to online stores that add individual payment channels directly on their web sites. It will then be offered to all PayU clients within the standard payment form, the report said.

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