Payment

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  • Samsung Pay goes live in the US

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    09.28.2015

    Got one of Samsung's newer smartphones? Most likely, you can use it to make purchases across the US: as promised, Samsung Pay has launched Stateside. The technology lets you buy goods most anywhere that accepts card- or NFC-based payments, so you probably won't have to fret about bringing out your wallet at the local shop. If anything, the big challenge is getting the exact combination of hardware and credit cards needed to make this work. You'll need a Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ or Note 5 running on one of four big US carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or US Cellular), and you'll need an American Express, MasterCard or Visa card issued through large banks like Bank of America, Citi or US Bank. Don't expect to pay for snacks with your credit union card and a Verizon phone, then. This is still a big deal if you're a Samsung fan, though, and the company is promising broader support over time.

  • Samsung Pay is a hit in its home country

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    09.24.2015

    Samsung Pay has barely been available for a month in its home country of South Korea, but that isn't stopping Samsung from crowing about its early success. The tech giant says that it has already seen the equivalent of $30 million in transactions in that first month, spread across 1.5 million purchases. That's not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but it's "beyond" what the company was hoping for. These aren't just one-and-done tests, either. About 36 percent of users were active in the past month, while 10 percent were enthusiastic enough to use Samsung Pay every day. And in case you're curious, the Galaxy Note 5 was the weapon of choice -- 60 percent of Korean purchases went through the supersized phone.

  • Apple Pay gets ready to launch in China

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    09.19.2015

    Apple is thriving in China, so you can imagine that it's practically salivating at the thought of launching Apple Pay in the country -- and it looks like that may happen relatively soon. The state-backed newspaper Wenhui News has learned that Apple quietly registered a payment business in Shanghai's free trade zone back in June. While it wasn't exactly clear what this would entail at the time, Wall Street Journal sources claim that the new business exists chiefly to bring Apple Pay to China. This doesn't guarantee an imminent debut (Apple still has to line up banks and stores), but the groundwork is now in place. If all goes well, it shouldn't be too long before tapping your iPhone lets you buy goods in Beijing.

  • Discover cards will work with Apple Pay starting September 16th

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    09.09.2015

    Discover has been dragging its heels on Apple Pay support for its credit cards (it confirmed its plans back in the spring), but it's finally ready to get with the mobile payment program. The firm now expects to roll out Apple Pay compatibility on September 16th, with perks (such as a 10 percent cashback bonus and additional travel miles) kicking in if you use Apple's tech to buy goods before the end of 2015. This might not matter much to you if you're a loyal AmEx, MasterCard or Visa fan, but the move means that every major US credit card provider now accepts the iPhone-only service. While this still doesn't represent truly universal card support in Apple Pay, it's much closer than before.

  • Verizon is still 'evaluating' support for Samsung Pay

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    08.22.2015

    We hope you weren't planning to use your Verizon-badged Galaxy S6 or Note 5 with Samsung Pay on September 28th... you might be disappointed. Big Red notes that it's still in the "process of evaluating" Samsung Pay while AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular have already pledged support. This doesn't rule out Verizon offering Samsung Pay on launch, but we wouldn't count on it given how carrier approval processes are seldom swift -- just ask anyone who waited months for a Verizon-ready Nexus 6.

  • Apple will help shape the future of NFC

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    08.12.2015

    Apple has come a long, long way in its attitude toward NFC. The company seemingly went out of its way to avoid the short-range wireless tech for years after others embraced it, but it quickly became one of the biggest users last year thanks to Apple Pay. And now, it's ready to guide the standard's future -- the company has joined the top ranks of the NFC Forum, giving it the same level of influence as the likes of Google, Intel and Samsung, among others. Clearly, Apple isn't having regrets about welcoming NFC with open arms.

  • Apple Pay reportedly reaches the UK on July 14th

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    07.04.2015

    Irked that Apple Pay is only officially slated to reach the UK sometime in July? Don't worry -- you might not have to wait all month to see it. Multiple retailer leaks at 9to5Mac point to Apple launching its iPhone tap-to-pay service in Old Blighty on July 14th, or soon enough that you can likely use it if you're off to one of the country's many summer music festivals. Just don't expect to splurge on more than a quick bite to eat while you're out. That £20 (soon to be £30) contactless payment cap seriously limits how much you can spend, so the British implementation won't be quite as convenient as it is for Americans.

  • Facebook Messenger's pay-your-friends feature reaches New York City

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    05.27.2015

    Facebook has been cautious about rolling out Messenger payments in the US so far, but it just opened them up in a big way. The feature now works for anyone in New York City and the surrounding areas, so you can cover your share of that SoHo pizza when a chat buddy brings it up. The software itself is a little more helpful, too -- it'll automatically link dollar amounts to help you pay them faster, and you can pay individual friends within group discussions. It'll be a while before you can sling cash to any Facebook user you like, but that day is at least getting closer.

  • MasterCard Send is a new way to distribute funds quickly

    by 
    Billy Steele
    Billy Steele
    05.19.2015

    Let's face it: checks aren't convenient. If you're using them to pay for something, there's all the extra writing and mailing. If you're receiving them, there's a whole process for getting them into your account. Well, MasterCard says it solved the convenience issue with Send: a new system that allows businesses and individuals to securely exchange funds in minutes. This means that you'll no longer have to wait for a check to clear or for the transfer to go through. While businesses looking to send refunds, claims payments and rebates are a key focus, MasterCard is letting regular folks leverage the system to send money to friends and family, too. What's more, you don't have to be one of its customers to opt in, and you can use Send to pay for goods at participating retailers.

  • PayPal's simple One Touch payments reach the web

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    04.28.2015

    PayPal helped fast-track your online shopping when it rolled out One Touch payments on phones last year, and today it's bringing that simpler system to the web. As with mobile apps, you shouldn't have to sign in more than once to use your PayPal balance for purchases on any device with a browser -- it'll remember your details, so you only need to acknowledge that you're draining your account. You should see One Touch today at numerous web-based shops that already take PayPal, and it should reach other countries in the months ahead. [Image credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu]

  • Your Google Wallet funds are now insured

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    04.19.2015

    The money in your bank account is typically covered by federal insurance, but your internet payment services typically aren't. If PayPal or Venmo went belly-up, you'd probably lose your existing balance. That won't be a problem if you're using Google Wallet, though. Google is now holding your Wallet funds in banks with FDIC insurance, so your digital credit is now that much safer. This isn't to say that rivals leave you completely vulnerable -- PayPal has fraud protection, for instance. However, the Wallet move means that you won't have to go to court to get your cash back if Google goes bankrupt, no matter how unlikely that is.

  • Here's how you pay with an Apple Watch

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    03.07.2015

    Apple was quick to tout payment support on the Apple Watch, but how does it work, really? How easily could a thief go on a shopping spree with your timepiece? Don't worry about waiting until the launch to find out, as the company's Eddy Cue has spilled the beans on Apple Pay support a little early. He explains that you have to authenticate using either your fingerprint on the iPhone or a password on the Watch to start spending; after that, you can leave your phone in your pocket. That approval only works so long as the Apple Watch is still on your wrist, though, and you can even force the device to ask for a password every time (you know, in case someone hijacks your arm). In short, Apple, isn't taking any chances -- it wants you to trust that your wristwear is at least as secure as anything else you're carrying.

  • The big US carriers will shut down their mobile wallet this month

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    03.04.2015

    There was no question that AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon gave up on their Softcard mobile payment service when they agreed to pre-install Google Wallet, but it's now apparent that they're beating an especially hasty retreat. Softcard is telling users that its service will stop working after March 31st -- when April rolls around, both the app and your account go bye-bye. It's doubtful that you'll shed a tear for an offering that was mostly meant to stifle competition, but you will have to choose another tap-to-pay service fairly quickly if you happen to be one of the remaining customers. Thankfully, there won't be a shortage of alternatives any time soon.

  • Stratos' all-in-one payment card should work anywhere in the US

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    03.03.2015

    Many "universal" payment cards... well, aren't. They either don't work everywhere or only hold a limited number of cards, which leaves you out of luck when you're trying to add one more loyalty program. Stratos thinks it has this problem licked, though. Its new Bluetooth Connected Card promises "100 percent compatibility" with payment systems in the US, and it can hold an unlimited number of cards that you control through a mobile app. You also shouldn't have to worry about a thief going on a shopping spree if you lose your card, since you can tell it to automatically lock down if it's not close to your phone for a while.

  • Visa wants to track your travels abroad to prevent declined payments

    by 
    Mariella Moon
    Mariella Moon
    02.13.2015

    Yes, banks sometimes decline credit card transactions abroad for your own protection, but it sure can be annoying, especially when you're not carrying money in the local currency. Visa has a new service for card holders in the US that could prevent that from happening again: one that instantly cross-references your phone's location with the transaction. If the location data matches, the bank automatically approves your payment, so you can use your cards even in places with high CC fraud rates. The feature will come bundled with banks' mobile apps starting in April this year, but Visa says it's completely optional, and you can leave it deactivated in case of privacy concerns.

  • Disney World starts accepting Apple Pay and Google Wallet this week

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    12.22.2014

    Making a trip to Walt Disney World during the holidays? You might not avoid the long queues or endless parking lots, but you won't always have to pull out your wallet. As promised back in September, the Orlando area theme park will start accepting mobile payments on December 24th. The launch will let you use Apple Pay, Google Wallet and tap-to-pay credit cards to buy tickets, shop at stores and order from both bars and fast service restaurants. There are a few gaps. The system doesn't yet work at places that need a portable payment terminal, so you'll still have to break out the cash or plastic at a table service restaurant. You'll also have to wait until 2015 to get similar treatment at Disneyland in California. But hey, it's a start -- and it may save you a few headaches the next time you're jonesing to take a ride at Space Mountain. [Image credit: Kent Philips]

  • Microsoft issues apology over late XBLIG payments

    by 
    Danny Cowan
    Danny Cowan
    12.04.2014

    Microsoft has addressed late payment concerns raised by developers enrolled in the Xbox Live Indie Games program, and the company is "working hard" to pay affected studios by the end of the month. "Due to a technical issue in our payment system, we recently learned that some payments to select developers in the Xbox Live Indie Games program on Xbox 360 were delayed," Microsoft's statement reads. "Our partners are important to us and we work hard to help make sure they have a great development experience. This was an unfortunate error and we are working hard to fix it. We apologize for this incident and anticipate developers will receive payments within the next two weeks." Bleed developer BootDisk Revolution, Trailer Park King creator Freelance Games, and other studios have previously spoken out regarding the issue. Speaking to Gamasutra, Charlie Murder developer James Silva notes that Microsoft has been "way later in the past" with regard to XBLIG revenue payouts. Launched in 2008, the community-driven Xbox Live Indie Games service presents a lower barrier to entry than traditional Xbox Live Arcade and retail game releases. To date, more than 3,000 games have launched for the program, including standouts like The Impossible Game, CastleMiner Z, and Protect Me Knight. [Image: Microsoft]

  • Early Apple Pay stats point to a modest but promising start

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    11.16.2014

    Sure, Apple was quick to tout a surge of Apple Pay registrations, but how often are people actually using the iPhone-focused payment service? A fair amount, apparently. Whole Foods tells the New York Times that it racked up 150,000 transactions in the three weeks after Apple Pay became available. That's not a lot in the grander scheme of things (just 7,143 payments per day), but it's significant for a single store and a brand new service with limited device support. Other shops aren't quite so forthcoming with stats, although they suggest that there has also been an uptick. Walgreens says its mobile payments have doubled, while McDonald's says that Apple Pay now makes up half of its tap-to-pay purchases.

  • Google Wallet won't let you buy digital goods on the web past March 2015

    by 
    Chris Velazco
    Chris Velazco
    11.13.2014

    Sad news, web merchants: if you relied on Google Wallet to process the online payments for your feline subculture e-zine (or any other digital product you've got kicking around), you'd better start looking for something else to do the job. On March 2, 2015, Google will officially pull the plug on its Wallet for Digital Goods API, which means anyone who hasn't switched to another payment processor -- like PayPal, for instance -- will be serve up 404s left and right to anyone trying to buy stuff from them.

  • Poynt's smart store terminal lets you pay any way you like

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    10.29.2014

    One of the many reasons you don't see widespread support for mobile payment tech like Apple Pay or Google Wallet is the hardware investment needed to make it all work. Why should a store spend thousands of dollars on machines that miss out on some features, or will be obsolete in a few years? That's what Poynt wants to fix with its new smart terminal. The Android-powered device takes just about every form of payment imaginable, including NFC transactions from your phone, chip-and-pin cards, QR codes and old-fashioned magnetic stripe cards. You can even add a cash drawer through USB. The countertop machine also has Bluetooth beacon support for in-store offers, and its app platform lets stores adapt to new services by either downloading apps or writing their own.