Switching bank accounts became quicker and simpler following the introduction of new 'faster switching' rules in September 2013.
The industry teamed up with the Government, investing £750 million in a new account switching service.[From Switching bank accounts - how to find the best current account deals | This is Money]
Experts were impressed with the scheme, which has cost £750m.[From More bank account switching? The number has actually fallen - Telegraph]
So three-quarters of the populace were satisfied with the current system? It currently takes two to three weeks to switch bank accounts in the UK, but later this month it will take only a week. Who cares?[From Do pointless things, faster - Tomorrow's Transactions]
The FCA has just launched an investigation
The Current Account Switch Service is not the only option to make switching easier for current account customers. Alongside our review of the new service we will also gather evidence on other options including account number portability (ANP).[From Current Account Switch Service - Financial Conduct Authority]
I hope they'll ask me about this, there is an obvious way forward that doesn't involve spending gazillions on management consultants and big iron.
Consumers would be more likely to switch their bank if they could keep their account number, according to new Which? research... Three-quarters (76%) believe that the introduction of portable account numbers would make switching bank accounts easier... More than half of the people surveyed (55%) have never switched their current account.[From Keeping bank account number would boost switching say consumers - September - 2012 - Which? News]
I’ve written before about what the industry should have done, which is to create a virtual sort code and account number that customers can switch to wherever they like: that way, they give their employers and whoever else a single sort code and account number which never, ever changes, Then, if they want to switch bank, they re-route the virtual account and there’s no need to notify billers, counter parties etc to update their databases.[From E-ASS about face - Tomorrow's Transactions]
When the six-digit sort code system was set up in the 1960s, numbers in the 70 range were reserved for the large number of London offices of banks which were not members of the London Clearing. Individual sort codes within the range 70-00-00 to 70-99-99 were allocated on a one-off basis to the many London offices of private and foreign banks. Cheques drawn on these banks were colloquially known within the banking industry as "walks" because they were cleared by being hand-delivered ("walked") to the drawee banks by messengers from the Clearing House. By the 1990s, all these banks had been issued with sort codes within the ranges of the various clearing banks which, henceforth, acted as clearing agents for them. The practice of "walking" cheques was ended and use of the 70 code range was discontinued.[From Sort code - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
So, the "70 solution" is immediately feasible with absolutely no impact on existing systems.
Banking group Sumitomo Mitsui is to introduce an NFC payments service this month that will be available through all three Japanese mobile network operators — NTT Docomo, Softbank and KDDI — and will work with a total of 31 NFC phones available from the three carriers.[From Sumitomo Mitsui to launch NFC payments in Japan • NFC World]
MasterCard Inc. ( MA ) will soon introduce a contemporary mobile wallet service in Japan, which is based on near-field communication (NFC). The company will launch this service by integrating its next generation digital service - PayPass - with DNP's mobile wallet and C-SAM's secure turnkey mobile transaction software technology services.[From MasterCard Intros NFC Mobile Wallet in Japan - Analyst Blog - NASDAQ.com]
"We think this is the beginning of NFC in Japan, but we feel it is difficult to establish the standard of NFC payment service in Japan," the bank added.[From Sumitomo Mitsui to launch NFC payments in Japan • NFC World]
With sales tax going up from 5% to 8% in April, although currently all train tickets are rounded to the nearest 10 yen, some transport operators are planning on increasing fares by exactly 3% (actually by 2.857%, but you know what I mean!) then rounded to the nearest yen, but only for electronic cash users. As most of the ticket vending machines cannot handle one and five yen coins, for cash users the tax increase will be rounded up to the nearest ten yen.[From Sales tax increase, electronic cash and railway fares | 世論 What Japan Thinks]
As Japan’s coins come in ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50, ¥100 and ¥500 denominations, economics professor from Seijo University in Tokyo Masao Nakata said, manufacturing more coins is the solution for a possible shortage that comes with an increased tax[From More ¥1 coins minted for first time in 4 years for Japan’s sales tax hike - The Japan Daily Press]
In fact the tax
Electronic money is being used more and more often since the consumption tax hike in April, as consumers seek to reduce the amount of small coins in their wallets and take advantage of point services.[From Convenience, points fuel spread of e-money in Japan, AsiaOne Asia News]
Nanaco, an e-money system operated by Seven & i Holdings Co., was used about 347 million times from April to June this year, an enormous 48.9 per cent increase from the same period in 2013.Nanaco users put money into prepaid cards in advance, and receive one point for every ¥100 they spend at Seven-Eleven and other stores under the holding firm's umbrella.[From Convenience, points fuel spread of e-money in Japan, AsiaOne Asia News]
The Aeon group saw the number of times its WAON e-money system was used rise 26 per cent in the April-June quarter, and the nine cards issued by public transportation service companies,[From Convenience, points fuel spread of e-money in Japan, AsiaOne Asia News]
Nintendo's Wii U video game console, which has a Near Field Communication reader built into its controller, is finally putting that technology to use to accept payment cards[From Nintendo Enables Contactless Card Payments on Wii U in Japan|PaymentsSource]
This is hardly new. Seven years ago You can now tap your contactless prepaid Suica on your console in order to pay for content.
Sony is rolling out a USB contactless interface for the Playstation 3 so that Japanese consumers can pay for online games with their EDY cards and, of course, their Felica-equipped mobile phones.[From It's the PayStation 3! - Tomorrow's Transactions]