PayPal's Here direct sale and money transfer service is an admirable rival to the similar Square, and before today its standard Android app was perfectly fine. But you can't deny that it looked a little... iPhoney. Thankfully the second release of the PayPal Here app brings the user interface more in line with other polished Android apps, and throws a little expanded functionality in for good measure.
The whole app has been simplified and streamlined, according to the change log, and customers should now be able to swipe their credit or debit cards at any time during the purchasing process. Read More
Ready for another Google Now rumor? We've already seen evidence of contact-based reminders reliant on your proximity with another person, and "inferred events," whereby Now would pluck mentions of meetings or other appointments from your conversations to automatically create calendar entries. This time, we have something just as useful - a new bill pay card and interface, evidently headed for Google Now.
: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether. As with all rumors, nothing is 100% until it's officially announced.
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One of PayPal's problems is that it's immensely popular. As the service implements more features and grows to support a larger user base, it inevitably loses some people along the way. If you want an app that makes it easy to send money to friends that isn't PayPal, Venmo is worth a look. It's simple, doesn't charge to send money from most bank accounts or debit cards, and it just received an update that makes the experience look more at home on Android.
In addition to the new look, Venmo now has a home screen widget that enables faster payments. 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
Google's Wallet-powered peer-to-peer payment service launched to rival Paypal was announced on May 15th and came with an interesting promotion: waived fees for transfers funded by credit cards. This promotion was recently (possibly today) adjusted quite drastically, and now only payments less than $250 aren't charged fees. Additionally, we now know that the promotional period ends on June 29th.
Left: terms before; Right: current terms
Typically, credit card-funded transfers are charged a fee of 2.9% with a minimum of $0.30, but for a previously undefined "limited time," Google decided to foot the bill in hopes of attracting initial users. Read More
If you make money on the Play Store, you should probably check your email. Google is sending out a notification to developers to let them know that in the future, payments will be sent out on a 15 day delay instead of the one or two days the company has been using for a while. What does this mean for you? Well, if selling apps is a primary source of income for you, then you'll want to do some planning. Before you panic, though, Google is implementing an intermediary schedule to make the transition a little easier.
Here's how it works. 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
Jelly Bean may be all the rage at the moment, but the CyanogenMod team hasn't forgotten about their Ice Cream Sandwich implementation. Tucked in with the newly updated CyanogenMod 9.1 is support for the brand new SimplyTapp near-field communication system. SimplyTap is the labor of love of two dedicated CyanogenMod users, with the aim of broadening NFC payment usage via a more open implementation of the embattled standard. Currently the Tapp app is only compatible with CyanogenMod 9.1 - CM10 is moving a little too quickly to reliably add the necessary code.
Naturally, you'll also need an NFC-enabled device to use the SimplyTapp service. Read More
It's no secret that Google Wallet got off to an extremely rough start. The service was announced nearly a year ago to a mild amount of fanfare, then almost immediately started hitting barrier after barrier, fighting for carrier and card support. Just a few days ago, they revealed that the big four (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover) were finally on board, thus bringing the service many steps closer to actually... you know, being usable. There are two major obstacles that remain, though one is simply a matter of the prevalence of technology in devices - something that is quickly being remedied. Read More
Well, we knew it was a possibility, and given Google Wallet's painfully slow adoption rate (by carriers and payment processors), rumors today from NFCTimes that the service's sole remaining partner Sprint is coming up with an alternative aren't exactly surprising.
NFCTimes says the service will be called "Touch," and will utilize a "secure element" system like Wallet (a physical chip) in order to securely process mobile payments. Likely by necessity, this would mean the end of support for Google Wallet on Sprint handsets released after the launch of the new "Touch" service. Two embedded payment systems would be confusing to average consumers, and Sprint will have much more control over its own service (as well as revenue from it), as compared to no control with Google Wallet - undoubtedly something it wants. Read More