Samsung Pay is on a roll. After launching in South Korea and the US in 2015, it has expanded to China in 2016, started a trial in Singapore last week, and now it's deploying in its first European market: Spain.
And Samsung Pay is starting with a big advantage in Spain: it's the first mobile payment service to be offered in the country [Edit: Samsung said it's "the first of its kind," which apparently doesn't mean it's the absolute first. As readers pointed out, several mobile contactless payment solutions already exist in Spain], giving it a huge lead and potential for growth, especially considering the penetration of debit and credit cards among the country's working age population. Read More
Samsung Pay is on a heck of a ride lately. The company's mobile payment solution is a little more than half a year old by now, but it has already expanded to a couple of different countries, added loyalty and membership cards, brought support for more banks, and is on track to maybe add online payments later this year. It helps that Samsung Pay has the backing of Samsung's behemoth marketing and the wide potential base of its fleet of smartphones.
This latest announcement though is probably going to be one of the most profitable and impactful: Samsung Pay is teaming up with Alipay in China. Read More
A mobile payment service is only useful if you can, you know, use it... which must be pretty disheartening for customers of smaller banks and credit unions. Each one of them needs to be certified with new payment systems before their customers can join in the "fun" of paying for stuff with their phones. Today Samsung Pay, the semi-proprietary system that's surprisingly interoperable thanks to some neat payment tech, adds a whopping 19 new Visa and MasterCard issuers to its list of compatible banks and similar companies. Read More
Unlike some of my colleagues in the tech media, I don't have any particular beef with Walmart. Yes, they sell cheap imported crap, and yes, they under-pay their employees, stiffing both the people who make stuff and the people who sell stuff. But if you object to that strongly enough to actually change your buying habits, you'll soon run out of places to buy things. I do, however, object to the idea of a mobile payment system that works at exactly one store. That's taking the biggest problem with mobile payments as a whole, the lack of inter-operability, and turning it into a selling point. Read More
Now that a KitKat build for the Galaxy Note 3 has leaked, people have started reporting new things that they're finding. Though most of the major features of Google's latest Android version are present, the "tap and pay" option is conspicuously absent. Further, it appears host card emulation has been disabled altogether. This is curious given the fact that Isis Mobile Wallet, which is partially backed by AT&T and nowhere to be found on the official Android 4.3 builds, is preinstalled on the leaked firmware.
Host card emulation, for the purposes of Android devices, allows almost any NFC-equipped device to be used for "tap and go" mobile payments, even if it doesn't have a secure element. Read More
After two years on the market, Google Wallet has failed to gain any kind of meaningful foothold in the mobile payment world. That's the gist of a new report from Bloomberg Businessweek, slamming Google's mobile and NFC payment service as a "money pit" and unlikely to succeed against existing and upcoming competitors. Among the publication's chief complaints are $300 million in investments and acquisitions, and hundreds of developers on staff, all for less than 10 million downloads in the Google Play Store.
One reason cited for the lack of users is obvious: in the US, Google Wallet's primary target market, Sprint is still the only major carrier that allows users to download the app. Read More
Isis launched its mobile payments platform in Salt Lake City, UT and Austin, TX today, in a limited, initial rollout that's probably best viewed as a tech test more than an NFC payments panacea. We've know for quite some time that these would be Isis' launch markets (after numerous delays), and we also had a basic idea of how the system would work: NFC. What wasn't so widely-known is the fact that Isis uses the SIM secure element method to store payment credentials.
This is in contrast to Google Wallet's method, where your virtual MasterCard (used as the medium through which your payments are processed) is stored in a secure element that is typically included as a part of the NFC chip. Read More
While Google and the ISIS consortium duke it out over the future of Near Field Communication and the payment systems that use it, one of the largest financial institutions in the US had decided to ignore it. Reuters reports that Bank Of America is testing a new system that will only require retailers to display a single image. Ideally this would negate the need for new hardware for both sellers and buyers - all that's required is an Android or iOS device with a camera and a mobile connection.
The trial program will last three months, with startup Paydiant overseeing five retailers in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Read More
This morning, Google had a Wallet developer Q&A session on the Google Developers blog, featuring Robin Dua, the product manager for Wallet.
Dua hinted that person to person payments could be headed to Wallet soon, so be on the lookout for that. He also emphasized Wallet's focus on getting small businesses on board with the company's loyalty reward and offer platforms.
More interestingly, when asked in a viewer question why Wallet was only supported on a limited number of carriers, Dua responded that Google was in active negotiations with "a number" of carriers, and that he "hope[d] to have some new partnerships to announce soon." While clearly implying that there is a possibility of failure, the fact that Dua spoke to such negotiations at all is encouraging. Read More
Yesterday, a rumor at the Wall Street Journal stated that major retailers like Walmart, Target, and 7-Eleven were in the process of teaming up to create their own mobile payment solution. They sure didn't waste much time on making it official, as this morning that solution was announced as "MCX" - or, Merchant Customer Exchange. Sexy.
This is a big deal, though. And it's a big deal because of the names in the headline above - quite literally most places where Americans buy things have come together to create a mobile wallet system. But it's not just Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. Read More