After several weeks of rumors, Google has announced their partnership with Softcard. The purpose of this venture is to combine forces with Google Wallet, which has been around since 2011 but never enjoyed wide usage. With Apple Pay having recently entered the fray, Google apparently felt the time is now to get their service back on the map. Buying their competitor Softcard's technology, though, is just the beginning.
In addition to gaining Softcard's back end, Google Wallet will soon be preloaded on all phones sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the United States. Read More
Wallet has to be pretty frustrating for Google. They beat Apple to the punch by quite a long time, but the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus basically introduced the lay public to mobile payments. How did this happen? Insert the tired cliches about Apple's control over hardware and software here. More interesting is what Google will do, considering how much they still have to gain by getting more adoption of their Apple Pay competitor.
A report by The Wall Street Journal indicates that Google is not going to stand pat while this burgeoning market passes them by. While it seems much is still in the air, Google is apparently planning several interesting things to remake Wallet, which they will re-introduce at this coming May's I/O conference. Read More
There have been a number of rumors regarding Samsung's intention to build its own mobile payment platform to compete with Apple and Google, and maybe now we know how. The Korean company just bought mobile payment start up LoopPay for an undisclosed sum. Using LoopPay is a little like NFC, but it works on 90% of payment kiosks using standard magnetic stripe readers.
Believe it or not, a lot of Android fans were happy to see Apple announce its new Apple Pay system with the iPhone 6. Thanks to its reliance on NFC technology (welcome to 2011, Cupertino!) and Apple's famous marketing muscle, it meant that NFC payments might finally start taking off, particularly in the US. The same NFC-equipped registers that work with Apple Pay generally work with Google Wallet as well.
Then popular drugstores CVS and Rite-Aid started blocking Apple Pay, which apparently means blocking all NFC payments, including Google Wallet. It turns out that a cabal of US retailers are already working on a proprietary mobile payment system, CurrentC. Read More
LevelUp lets customers pay using their mobile phones at thousands of businesses across the country. The company's app simply opens up a barcode that, once scanned, handles the transaction. To make things even easier for users, an update is rolling out that adds support for Android Wear. So instead of scanning their phones, Wear device owners can have establishments scan their wrists instead.
The Wear app can shoot out a notification when wearers enter a place where they frequently pay with LevelUp, and, with a swipe and a tap, lets users open up the payment screen. Unfortunately LevelUp can't help with all the questions that will flood in once someone starts going around paying with their wrist. What do you mean, it's merely paired to your Galaxy S5? Read More
Isis Mobile Wallet may have developed somewhat of a bad rep around these parts because it was the carrier-approved NFC payment alternative to Google Wallet, but no matter how many negative insults a few tech geeks have lobbed at it over the past few years, nothing has shaken the company quite like what the acronym ISIS is more commonly associated with these days - the militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The force has swept across parts of both Middle Eastern countries, expanding its reach with the use of violence against civilians and government forces alike.
We tech journalist don't have to wade far into the waters of international politics to convey just how unwanted of an association this is for a mobile payments company that merely wants to help you spend money by tapping your phone against things. Read More
For some reason, plenty of us just hate carrying credit cards around, and we cannot wait for the day when we're free from this burden. I can see our ancestors now, wondering what the fuss is all about. Not too long ago, you balanced your checkbook and you liked it. Before that, there wasn't a way to avoid walking around with a wallet stuffed with cash and a pocket loaded with coins. Even that was an advancement over leading around a pig you were looking to trade. But now we have LoopWallet, an app and accessory that, together, can replace credit cards at most locations. Read More
OpenTable has taken much of the stress out of making reservations. Just head online, click-click, and boom - you're done. Now the company wants to bring the same convenience to paying your bill. Screw waiting on the waiter to bring you the check. Just whip out your phone, tap to pay, and be on your way. Read More
If you asked someone off the street what Everything Everywhere was, they probably wouldn't have a clue what you were talking about. The company is yet to establish its own brand presence in the UK, but it's certainly busy setting things up behind the scenes.
For those of you who don't know, the company has been around for a while, ever since the merger of T-Mobile and Orange. Just last week, we learnt that the network would be the first to launch 4G in the UK, and now it's partnered with MasterCard to offer NFC payments on its devices in a 5-year deal. Read More