Ah, summer vacation.
But what a foreign concept for the biggest mobile payments players. PayPal will soon be independent, Google is crafting a new platform to manage all of its users’ mobile payments data, and Alibaba is possibly acquiring another mobile payments player. There is literally no rest for the mobile payments weary.
To help you keep up with the biggest news of the past week for the mobile pay players, PYMNTS has gathered the quick-hit, must read news you have missed on seven big players — plus new stats on mobile banking and news of which mobile dining app scored a $12 million investment.
PayPal’s Countdown To PYPL
The countdown is on. In 18 days, PayPal will be back to being PYPL and the payments network that processes more than 1 billion transactions a quarter (4 billion in 2014, consisting of roughly 1 billion mobile transactions) — across more than 167 million active customers — and works with 10 million-plus merchants worldwide.
Just to catch up, in 2014, PayPal processed $235 billion in total payment volume last year. In Q1 of 2015 alone, PayPal saw a 41 percent year-over-year mobile transaction growth.
“eBay and PayPal are two great, special businesses,” said John Donahoe, President and CEO of eBay Inc. “As separate, independent companies, eBay, led by Devin Wenig, and PayPal, led by Dan Schulman, will each have a sharper focus and greater flexibility to pursue future success in their respective global commerce and payments markets.”
Some key dates you don’t want to miss:
July 6: PayPal anticipates that “when-issued” trading will begin on or about July 6 under the symbol PYPL.wi. “Regular-way” trading in PayPal’s common stock is expected to begin on July 20, the first trading day following the completion of the separation.
Google’s Latest Payments Platform
Will Google Wallet become Google Payments? And what is Google Payments anyway? Not clear, but for now, Google announced the rollout of a new payments platform that manages all of its users’ financial data under one place — ranging across apps including Android Pay and Google Wallet.
The platform will now be the service tied to Google’s backend that will support all company payments products. A Google spokesperson said in an interview that “as we prepare for the launch of our new payments products, we’re gradually updating the Web destination where people can keep track of payments connected to their Google account, such as Play, Google Express, Google Fiber. These will now be available at payments.google.com.”
Google Payments will reportedly display a log of all transactions made with a user’s Google account, while the main page will show items that need attention, such as expired cards. With the new Google Payments, users are able to tweak payment methods, manage their bills and more.
Apple Pay’s First U.K. Apple Pay Conundrum
Apple Pay’s expansion into the U.K. will start next month with 250,000 merchant locations accepting the mobile payment option. But there’s already been some news to dampen the launch: contactless pay spending limits.
Most U.K. merchants who accept mobile payments can only accept payments up to £20 (about $31 USD), and those that want to increase that spending limit, will have to upgrade their point-of-sale hardware to accommodate that change.
Facebook Messenger The Next Wave Of Mobile Payments?
The much discussed payments feature for Facebook’s Messenger platform is now officially available to all U.S.-based FB users. Via a post on the world’s most popular social media platform, VP of Messaging Products David Marcus (formerly the head of PayPal) touted the announcement by the ease and safety of the new platform.
“We’re happy to announce that Messenger person-to-person payments are now available to everyone in the U.S.! Add your debit card and pay anyone on Messenger in a few taps,” Marcus wrote. “Money goes straight from your checking account to the recipient’s checking account. Easy and safe. As always, give it a try and let us know how we can make [it] even better for you!”
Marcus has indicated that Facebook’s payments ambitions are limited and that the firm is not looking to build a full payment setup, like PayPal. Instead, Facebook’s mobile attempt is more aimed at cashing in on the estimated $142 billion that Forrester estimates mobile payments will be worth by 2019.
Fried Chicken And….Mobile Payments?
Alibaba and KFC China just partnered to allow KFC customers to pay by scanning bar codes using Alipay’s mobile payments app. KFC follows in the steps of Walmart and Carrefour which each began accepting Alipay in 2015. With 5,000 restaurants across 900 cities, KFC is the largest food delivery business in China.
The race to win over China’s mobile payments audience is therefore fierce among retailers, mostly because China has high smartphone penetration and a massive population who embraces mobile payments as their preferred payment method. Alibaba, for instance, has a lead via Alipay, which boasts 50 percent online payment market share.
And, at least for now, KFC is not NFC.
Alibaba Expands Its Mobile Pay Presence In India
Alibaba is said to be in advanced negotiations to invest in the Indian mobile payments processor Paytm, according to news reports from June 30. The amount discussed would be around $600 million, according to undisclosed sources.
Alibaba would then own around 40 percent of the Indian payments company, which would be valued at around $4 billion. The sources declined to be named, as negotiations are not public, and neither Alibaba nor Paytm commented. But this move doesn’t come out of the blue for Alibaba as the company has been looking to spread its eCommerce and mobile commerce presence globally.
MasterPass Continues To Scale
MasterPass has made its way onto another luxury retailer’s online checkout page. Neiman Marcus recently took to its Facebook page to reveal that it is now accepting the online payment option. The company’s website also featured an announcement of the partnership, explaining the added payment solution as “a simple, convenient digital wallet for faster — and more secure — shopping.”
Other big announcements for MasterPass include a recent launch into Belgium with the help of Buy Way, a Brussels-based company that helps propose financing solutions to retail partners. Buy Way’s 585,000 customers can now activate their MasterPass wallet through their home banking. Now, anyone can create a Buy Way MasterPass wallet, choosing Belgium as their country, or through merchant websites accepting MasterPass.
Visa Checkout And Williams-Sonoma Show Off Shoppable Videos
Visa Checkout is helping Williams-Sonoma show how its new videos are shoppable. The two have teamed up to market the retailer’s “Time To Savor Summer” campaign to demonstrate to consumers how they can make purchases just by clicking on a video.
“We’re bringing a whole new meaning to instant gratification,” Sam Shrauger, Visa’s Senior VP of Digital Solutions at Williams-Sonoma, said in an interview. “With Williams-Sonoma and Visa Checkout, if you see it and want it, we can help you buy it, quickly and easily, so you can focus instead on creating delicious food and making great summer memories.”
Mobile Dining App Gets Another Big Investor
Velocity, a lifestyle app enabling restaurant diners to pay and earn rewards right from their mobile devices, secured one of the largest Series A funding rounds for a U.K.-based company June 29 when it closed $12 million from an international group of angel investors.
The app and its services are currently expanding to over 300 venues, with plans to launch in thousands of establishments across major hospitality cities globally by the end of 2016.
Mobile Banking: The Addiction Continues
The fast and short answer? Yes.
Figures from a recent Chase-commissioned survey revealed that 33 percent more consumers are using their mobile device to access a mobile banking app, compared with a year ago. Of the consumers surveyed, 47 percent prefer using the bank’s app on a mobile phone or tablet.
Another new report from Bank of America indicates that consumers are increasingly connecting to their bank via mobile on a daily basis. The results from the survey show that 62 percent of consumers are checking a mobile banking app at least a few days a week, and 20 percent of consumers reported checking it once a day or more than once a day. The survey’s results show that 51 percent of the consumers polled say they pick mobile or online banking as their top method.
Among the other major activities listed by consumers who turn to mobile banking, roughly 81 percent said they receive mobile banking app notifications and alerts: 43 percent for low balance notifications; 41 percent for a deposit notification and 41 percent for unusual activity.