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NFC

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Walgreens becomes first retailer to add their loyalty card via NFC to Android Pay

Walgreens has supported NFC payments for a number of years, even when other retailers were trying to fight it. They are taking it a step further by becoming the first retail store to support their loyalty card via NFC on Android Pay. There are many stores that support managing their loyalty/rewards cards in Android Pay, but Walgreens is notable for being the first to support their card via NFC.

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Android Pay expands to 44 more banks and credit unions in the US and Australia

Android Pay has been gaining support for a ton of banks and credit unions lately, and 44 more have just been added. Most of these banks and credit unions are local ones most of us haven't ever heard of, but hey, maybe your local bank is included. No, Chase isn't on here; I double-checked. There are a few Australian banks and credit unions on here as well.

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Android Pay v1.5 prepares to show new users where to find NFC on their phones and might be experimenting with the secure element again [APK Teardown]

There are a lot of factors playing into the success and failure of mobile payment systems. Perhaps the most challenging issue for Android Pay to overcome isn't the slow adoption of compatible payment terminals or the general lack of awareness about contactless payments, it's the confusion people experience once they decide to try it. While many users are nervous simply because they don't know what to expect, some others are confronted with an even bigger challenge: they have no idea where the NFC antenna is on their phone. The Android Pay app has been progressively adding more informative screens to help with educating users about tap-and-go payments, and now evidence from a teardown suggests Google will soon teach users what part of the phone to actually tap with.

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[Update: Another 18] Android Pay expands to 21 more banks and credit unions

Android Pay is cool and all, but if your bank or credit union isn't supported, it really doesn't matter. You can't take part in the fun.

Many of the big banks gained support first, catching headlines and impacting the largest number of users. Now we're seeing Android Pay make its way out to many of the financial institutions that serve as bedrocks of their local communities.

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Samsung is beta testing Samsung Pay for the Gear S2

Samsung Pay has been available for almost a year, but it's only worked on Samsung's phones. Now, the company is looking at expanding Pay to its line of Gear watches. Anyone in the US with a Samsung phone and a Gear S2 can give Samsung Pay a shot, but it's not as robust as the phone version.

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Android Pay just added 115 new banks (and no, not Capital One)

115 new banks have officially been added to the Android Pay's roster of supported financial institutions. Most of these are regional banks or credit unions, though - I'm not seeing any major national banks on this list (correct me if I missed one, of course). So even if your bank or credit union is a bit obscure, it's quite possible it could appear here - control+F carefully! Without further delay, the list, below.

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Bank Of America Will Let You Withdraw Cash Using Android Pay At 5,000 ATMs By The End Of This Year

Mobile payments are often viewed as a replacement for cash and cards. Why carry layers of bills and plastic in your wallet when you can simply make purchases with your phone? But without universal acceptance, the reality is that there are places where swiping your phone isn't an option. Sometimes even a card won't do. You need cash. And what do you need to get cash from the ATM? A card. Great.

For Bank of America customers, that situation is about to change.

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[Update: Official] Android Pay Is Probably About To Launch In The UK

Sometimes Google's social team jumps the gun a little bit. Case in point, earlier today the Android Twitter account posted that Android Pay was finally available in the UK after being announced way back in March. Except, well... not quite yet. That tweet was removed and now they are saying we're "not quite there yet." We're betting that means tomorrow.

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Google Authenticator v4.60 Is Preparing To Add Support For NFC and BLE Communication [APK Teardown]

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.

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With SmartSD, The SD Association Wants To Adapt MicroSD Cards To Make Mobile Payments

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.

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