Google Wallet has existed for almost four years, but everyone suddenly wants to be involved with mobile payments now that Apple Pay is a thing. Samsung Pay is expected later this year, and Microsoft is rumored to be preparing its own NFC payment service called Microsoft Payments. The news comes by way of a regulatory filing in which Microsoft applies to deploy a money transmission service in all 50 states.
Square released Cash a while back to make it easier to send and receive money on your mobile device, but now it's even easier with "$Cashtags." Get it? It's like a hashtag, but for money. You know some marketing manager was giddy after coming up with that. It's not all fun and games, though. Cash now also supports businesses with an option called Cash Pro.
Bad news, Europe. Global economic forces, combined with the uncertainty over planned quantitative easing have reduced the value of the Euro, resulting in lower buying power for European consumers. Oh, and a smartphone maker is raising its prices. Outrageous! OnePlus has announced an impending price increase for the One in Europe to compensate for the lower value of the currency, but you've got until March 25th to get the current price.
Lyft, the ride-sharing service that is more than happy to have someone drive you around town, will now let you pay for said trip using Google Wallet.
The functionality is available directly inside the app, where you can simply tap Add Google Wallet to skirt around entering your credit card number manually, assuming you already have one saved to your Google account. If you've bought something from the Play Store without using a gift card, then that's more than likely a yes.
Capital One might not have the best mobile banking app in the Play Store (in fact, it's among the worst), but someone there at least took notice of Level Money. This young startup has a great app and an interesting approach to managing money. Now Level is part of Capital One.
The next time you're sending lurid photos to people on Snapchat, why not make things interesting by putting some money on it? No, wait. I'm sure that'll never happen. Snapchat's new Snapcash service was designed with help from Square to make sending money as easy as sharing photos. Unsure? Just watch this super-weird 2-minute song and dance explainer.
Bicoin is a neat idea, but it's not very easy to use. In a world where most people have trouble figuring out how a ZIP archive works, asking them to manage their own encrypted Bitcoin wallet file is probably not going to happen. Having a third-party do it for you is risky too, but Circle aims to make Bitcoin safe and easy to use. The new Android app looks pretty great too.
Google's commerce blog was updated with a new post a little bit ago, but it was pulled down almost immediately. Luckily, we got a peek before that happened. Google is preparing to announce two new features of Google Wallet—automatic deposits and low balance alerts. They are both in the updated Wallet app.
Several years back this company called Square produced a product that let people accept credit card payments on their smartphones using this portable swiper-thingy that plugs into the device's headphone jack. PayPal saw this and decided that it wanted in on this action, so it produced a similar offering known as PayPal Here. The solution worked with phones, but many businesses relying on such products for point-of-sale like to use tablets instead. Now PayPal Here works with those too.