A Recap In the World of Mobile Wallets

Apple Pay has certainly been the rising tide that has lifted all mobile payments boats – and conversations. Hard to believe that it’s been in market for less than a month. But since that time, Apple Pay isn’t the only mobile payments scheme to make the news. Lots of other players have made announcements, as well, as all jockey for position in this very valuable mobile payments arena.

Take a quick look at what’s been going on recently in the world of mobile wallets:

PayPal announced its collaboration with McDonald’s competitor, Burger King. Its mobile payment service will allow guests to receive exclusive offers and discounts at BK restaurants, find their closest BK restaurant, and browse the menu and nutritional information and is expected to rollout early 2015 to all 13,000+ Burger King locations. The mobile app will be compatible with both iOS and Android devices via the BK app.

PayPal also expanded its Pay After Delivery option. The new option allows customers to pay items within 2 weeks after making the purchase. The program’s mission is to payment flexibility, allowing for a customer to decided when and how they would like to pay for the item in addition to the option to inspect the product upon delivery before finalizing the tractions with a payment.

PayPal has also teamed up with GoDaddy to launch a new online store geared towards small companies to help build their own website as well as the opportunity to setup and accept payments.

CyberSource and Authorize.Net announced that they would be supporting Apple Pay along with Visa Checkout and PayPal through a single platform that helps merchants accept these mobile wallets easily.

PayPal also revealed yesterday that Braintree will be allow European merchants sign up using only an E-mail address, URL and short company description. Braintree made note to waive any commissions for the first $50,000 worth of transactions in Europe.

Visa Checkout
Visa’s CEO Charlie Scharf announced that Visa Checkout has 2 million registered accounts and currently has more than 200 financial services partners. Visa Checkout also recently signed on merchants to the program which include United Airlines, Virgin America and American Apparel.

This quarter, Visa started to see some tangible progress and with that, has started to introduce new digital solutions into the marketplace. “We are aggressively pursuing this market with the expectation of growing our share. We’ve seen several things to support this; Visa Checkout, Visa Token Services, Visa Digital services and Apple Pay.” – Scharf

Visa’s subsidiaries CyberSource and Authorize. Net will also support Visa Checkout through the single platform that is enabling Apple Pay and PayPal. The platform also gives online merchants the opportunity to search, view and report on all of their transactions through a single account, giving them a common view of customer transaction activity across all points of engagement.

Additionally, according to Bloomberg reports, Best Buy is reportedly switching its credit-card processing partner to Visa from MasterCard.

Scharf told analysts during an earnings call last week that “we’ve agreed to terms to move a significant consumer credit co-brand from a competitor to Visa,” but didn’t name the retailer.
MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga pointed out in an earnings announcement on Oct 30th, that MasterPass “picks up where Apple Pay leaves off” given its portfolio of value-added services, loyalty programs. Banga also suggested that MasterPass might look toward adding outside private label cards to the platform, as well as in-store checkout.

Banga also remarked that MasterCard works with a broader network, including an audience in the B2B space that isn’t trying to compete directly with consumer business.

Google Wallet
Google has come out and said that its goal is to achieve mass merchant adoption for the Google Wallet platform as well as reduce the friction in everyday shopping experiences for consumers. To do that Google has announced plans to do a few things:

Google has recently also announced that their mobile wallet will allow users to add automatic bank transfers into the digital accounts and confirmed that there would not be fees or minimum balance requirements in order to set up the automatic transfer.

Google also touted the “Fraud Protection Guarantee” which will cover any fraudulent transactions that occur. Users will also be able to set up low balance alerts.

On another note, Google Wallet may be benefiting from Apple Pay as Apple Pay is driving NFC volume up and pulling Apple’s NFC rivals along with it, according to preliminary reports.

Earlier this week, Deepika Pandey, group vice president, digital marketing & customer experience at Walgreens said that her chain has seen in-store NFC payments double after accepting Apple Pay.

Google Wallet, which has been struggling for years, is also seeing a boost. ARS Technica quotes a Google source telling them “weekly transactions have increased by 50 percent, and in the recent couple of months, new users have nearly doubled compared to the previous month.”

CurrentC touts “One App Does It All, All At Once” meaning that users will be able to redeem exclusive offers, coupons and promotions automatically and also earn rewards/points from their favorite loyalty programs. Customers will be able to pay for items utilizing checking accounts, store gift cards and select store debt and credit cards.

Its security protocol includes a 4-digit code as well as unique Paycodes that are required for every purchase that are stored in an encrypted cloud.

Of course, CurrentC has not been without controversy. MPD CEO Karen Webster weighed in last week on the current Apple Pay/CurrentC situation, which she described as “a mess” forcing retailers into a choice to offer only a CurrentC mobile wallet that wont be available for many months.

This week, MCX COO Scott Rankin addressed the exclusivity clause with MCX merchants, in an interview with USA Today, and stated, “it’s close to months than years” in terms of how long the agreement would last.

Rankin also stated that MCX did not force CVS or Rite Aid to shut off NFC service but speculated that they might have done so due to the exclusivity agreement, but then noted that Meijer, an MCX member and family-owned Midwest supermarket chain, hadn’t shut off Apple Pay.” MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson then said that merchants could do what they wanted but CurrentC merchants that didn’t accept Apple Pay would be a higher priority.

This week the company announced its launch of its latest solution, which eliminates the dongle altogether in favor of a card case.

The new product now includes 2 products, which includes the LoopPay Card and the LoopPay CardCase.

The new low-energy Bluetooth-enabled device allows consumers to load any mag stripe into a universal digital wallet. This is possible due to the fact that LoopPlay leverages the technology that powers mag stripe readers today.

The cases look much like the cases most people put on iPhones for either decoration or protection.

The LoopPay Card Case also includes two little slots in a hidden compartment so that consumers can use to slide their driver’s license and a back-up card right into the case.