Many of Google's apps are in extremely active development, some are even on weekly update schedules, but there are others that seem practically abandoned until they get that one random update every 6 months or so. With an average of about once per year (so far), Authenticator is easily one of the best examples of the latter group. Given the infrequency of new versions, it's a little disheartening to see that there are no discernable new features in the latest release; but it's actually worse than that, one was even taken away. But don't let this get you down, it looks like this little app may be due for some new tricks soon as it may be entering wireless territory. Read More
For mobile payments to really take off, the functionality needs to be available to far more than merely the latest devices. For this reason, the SD Association, a non-profit that sets memory card standards, is pushing a means to use microSD cards to make otherwise incompatible devices compatible.
The SD association calls this technology smartSD. The technology apparently enables a secure element for Host Card Emulation, a necessary step for creating digital copies of payment cards the way we've seen in Google Wallet and Android Pay. SmartSD uses a device's native NFC, removing the need to embed such technology into the card directly. Read More
A few years ago, a couple companies had the idea of creating credit cards with e-ink screens that could replace all the other credit cards in your pocket. You may remember them as Coin and Plastc. The former, after missing its target date by a year, hit the market in 2015. The latter is still in development. Since quite a bit of time has passed since the end of 2014, Plastc is now issuing a status update. Read More
Google has been running some Android Pay promos lately, a stark contrast to the Google Wallet days when Google pretended mobile payments didn't exist. Last month there was the Best Buy gift card deal, and now you can get some freebies simply by using your phone to pay 10 times between now and the end of February. There are some caveats, of course.
This one's easy: if you use Android Pay on a Nexus device before December 31st, 2015, Google will add a $20 Best Buy e-gift card to your Android Pay... digital repository of cards. (Side note: what are we supposed to call the collection of cards and gift cards and loyalty stuff in Android Pay if not a wallet? This is awkward.) There is a limited supply of these gift cards, however, so the promo may end before 12/31 if people really get on this (I certainly will be taking advantage ASAP).
The nitty-gritty details aren't very rigorous, but here's what you need to know. Read More
Since Android Pay launched in September, Toronto-Dominion Bank customers have had to do without support. The option to add their TD Bank cards simply hasn't been an option. Well, it looks like that may be changing. The Android Pay website now lists TD Bank as supported. Read More
Square's square readers go into a phone or tablet's headphone jack and let the device accept payments from a credit card. Its original model, anyway. The company has a new one that's rolling out to over 100 small business owners across the US starting today. Read More
A late-night update to the Play Store slipped out just before midnight. A close examination doesn't turn up any big visual changes or new features, but this version is begging for a teardown. I'm not going to beat around the bush, if you've read the title, you know why you're here. Yes, it's true, family sharing and gifting are on the way. No doubt about it. There's even a neat way to add credit cards if they have NFC. There's no point in teasing it out, just get to reading. If you want to jump straight to downloading the latest version, there's a link at the bottom of the post. Read More
Verizon was previously noncommittal about supporting Samsung's contactless payment solution, but the carrier has now confirmed on Twitter that Samsung Pay is coming. When? No one knows, but it will be delivered as part of a future software update. We all know how good Verizon is at getting software updates out in a timely fashion. Read More
We here in the States aren't always quick to adopt new technology (or in this case, new-ish). Take those little security chips embedded in credit cards. Yeah, we're only just now getting around to using those. Banks are starting to send them out, and retailers are having to update their machines.
So PayPal is now bringing its Here Chip Card Reader to the US. This updated unit accepts chip card transactions in addition to magnetic stripes. Starting next month, merchants who do not accept chip cards will be liable for point of sale fraud unless they update to an EMV terminal. Read More