In the last few months, Android Pay has been popping up quite a bit with expansions into new territories, support for more banks and credit unions, and of course, new features. The latest update began rolling out this morning and looks basically unchanged, but a teardown shows that Google is preparing to give users a reason to poke around in the app more often. Loyalty programs are about to get a fairly significant upgrade that will allow them to feature special offers to members. Read More
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. Read More
We may have all been a bit dubious about Samsung Pay when it was first announced, especially as another duplicate service that Samsung was launching to provide its own solution instead of Google's or Apple's, but Pay has proven to be more of a success story so far. Launches in multiple countries, ease of use, and MST compatibility make it a great contender in the mobile payment segment.
With this continuous improvement comes a new feature of Samsung Pay: Samsung's own Rewards card. You can earn it by participating in different promotions — there's one right now for a $20 Rewards card after making your first payment in the US — and it'll show up as a VISA card inside your Pay account. Read More
T-Mobile says "the Un-carrier never stops" in a blog post announcing its new pay-as-you-go plan, set for availability August 17th. The carrier, which recently became the top prepaid provider in the US, is looking to simplify pay-as-you-go with a flat $0.10 cost per message or minute. The plan will have a $3.00 monthly minimum, which would give customers 30 minutes of talk or thirty SMS messages.
T-Mobile will also offer daily or weekly LTE data passes, with a day pass (allotting 500MB) priced at $5.00 and a seven-day pass (allotting 1GB) running customers $10.
With this new plan, T-Mobile hopes to eliminate confusion from pay-as-you-go plans, which the carrier says have historically been "difficult to understand." With straight-forward rates and affordable data passes, the carrier says it is "making it easier than ever to switch to T-Mobile."
Source: T-Mobile Read More
WhatsApp, the incredibly popular messaging service recently acquired by Facebook for 19 Instagrams dropped an update for Android users today, bringing the app up to version 2.11.186. The update brings to the Play Store features beta users have enjoyed since version 2.11.181 earlier this month.
Users who grab the update will enjoy new privacy settings for "last seen," profile photo, and status (allowing users to limit who can see each), a camera shortcut (a 1x1 widget for quick photo capture), and several other UI improvements. Here's the full list of changes:
- new privacy settings for last seen, profile photo and status
- add Camera shortcut for quicker picture sending
- add ability to pay for a friend's WhatsApp service
- add large video thumbnails in chat
- add option to show unread messages on home screen widget (Android 3.0+)
- add option to share/save profile photo/group icon
- increase message history user can send
- fix sending flag emoji on Sony phones
- fix voice note recording volume on Samsung Note 3 and Sony phones
- enabled Hindi (Android 4.1+)
One of the most interesting new features is the ability for users to pay for each other's WhatsApp subscriptions. Read More
Square, the service that makes "commerce easy for everyone," has just expanded its mobile payment/commerce service to Canada.
For those unaware, Square is an app/accessory that allows you to accept credit card payments anywhere from Android or iOS devices. The company provides a free card reader and app in exchange for a small percentage of each completed transaction, giving small and independent businesses an easy, inexpensive, and secure way to open up their products to those paying with plastic.
In a press release posted to their website earlier today, Square announced that its expansion of service to Canada marked its first step in going international. Read More
For millions of coffee drinkers, Starbucks is a sort of a daily Mecca - they can't imagine skipping even a day, and spending over $100 a month on liquid caffeinated pleasures is pretty much business as usual. Because of that, unofficial Starbucks apps that replace Starbuck's own Starbucks Cards on mobile devices quickly gained popularity.
If you've followed the history of the most popular one of them - the 4.7-star Starbucks Card Widget, you may have seen that Starbucks actually C&D'ed them back in February for using the brand name, after which the app got reborn as My Coffee Card and was most recently featured as Amazon Appstore's free app of the day. Read More
According to news website TheStreet, Google may be finally relenting on the Google Checkout-only system currently employed in the Android Market by letting PayPal in on the action. This is a facility that users have demanded for some time, and the ubiquity and convenience of PayPal payment should be a nice incentive for people to buy apps if they have not done so before. TheStreet also speculates that this new payment option may be the final piece of the puzzle in the long-awaited Google Music project, allowing for seamless payment from your device or PC. An announcement at PayPal's October 26th conference in San Francisco is expected to unveil this new partnership. Read More