2016’s Week One: Top Payments News Of The Week

If 2015 went out like a lamb, 2016 is surely coming in like a lion in terms of what’s been happening across the payments, commerce and finance sectors.

That’s why we’ve rounded up PYMNTS’ Top 10 stories of the week.

The Six Things That Will Define Payments In 2016

There are lots of things that will influence the actions of the players within the vast and dynamic ecosystem in 2016. But MPD CEO Karen Webster says there are only six trends that you need to pay attention to. Well, more explicitly, she says, six trends that you won’t want to be on the wrong side of. The good news is that there’s still a little time to adjust – but not much. 

MasterPass Reinvents Checkout

Walmart ended the year by announcing Walmart Pay. It started the year with a big move to reinvent the way its customers can pay online.

MasterCard announced the world’s largest retailer will accept MasterCard’s digital checkout option, MasterPass. MasterPass, MasterCard’s tokenized online checkout option reduces consumer friction at online checkout by eliminating the need to enter payment credentials and personal information for each purchase on its U.S. properties.

New Apple P2P Payments Details Emerge

More details have emerged in a patent filed in early December. What that patent shows is that Apple’s P2P plans look to be beyond just payments through iMessage. The patent indicates that the company also intends to allow users to send money through phone calls, emails and even calendar invites. What this most recent patent does reveal is that Apple is getting serious about being in the payments messaging service.

MasterCard’s Wearable Payments Breakthrough

MasterCard’s digital philosophy is that every device could be a commerce device. And, they’ve been pretty focused on bringing that to life over the last year – with watches, wearables, keychains, dresses, sunglasses, gloves, rings – and as we saw at CES, even refrigerators.

And, that’s the intention of their latest partnership – one that they announced Jan. 6 with perhaps a very unlikely partner at first blush: Coin.

Debit’s Loss Is PayPal’s Gain

As new ways to pay get introduced into the consumer market, there’s always one pressing question on the minds of merchants and issuers: How do consumers actually want to pay?

Well, according to TSYS’ latest study, the data show that in the U.S. debit continues to be the king of payment methods, as consumers ranked it their most preferred payment type overall. But that trend is slowing. What TSYS’ study also showed is that over the past two years, there has been a decrease in consumers who say they prefer their debit card.

Fidelity Ends Long-Term Card Partnership With Amex and BoA

After 12 years and billions in fees, Fidelity announced Jan. 4 that it will be ending its credit card partnership with American Express and Bank of America.

The Boston-based financial services institution will be taking its 24 million customers to its new partners — U.S. Bancorp and Visa Inc. The new exclusive deal will provide Fidelity customers with Visa-branded credit card products.

Etsy Temporarily Pulls Plug On Google Ads

Opting out of participating in Google ads is kind of like trying to drive across the country without ever going on a highway — it’s definitely possible, but it’ll take much more time, money and effort to get there. Just ahead of Christmas, that’s the route Etsy decided to take.

Samsung Watch Goes iOS, And Samsung Pay Expands

Samsung announced Jan. 6 that Samsung Pay will launch in Australia, Brazil and Singapore. This follows its initial launch of South Korea and the U.S. Next on the docket is expected to be expansion in China, Spain and the U.K. Samsung also announced that its new Gear S2 smartwatches will support Samsung Pay in South Korea and the U.S. in early 2016.

Samsung also announced its newest smartwatch, the Gear S2, would be compatible with Apple’s iOS, which creates an interesting relationship between the two rival companies (also two of the world’s largest smartphone makers).

Mobile Payments Players’ 2016 Momentum

Will 2016 really be the year of mobile pay? Week 1 certainly suggests so. With two big announcements from MasterCard, international expansion of Samsung Pay, and more details about Apple Pay’s P2P play, 2016’s mobile pay year is already underway.

But they’re not the only ones. That’s why PYMTNS rolled its first mobile payments tracker of 2016 to make it easier to keep tabs on the mobile pay players, too. Don’t miss 2016’s first report card.

The Industry’s IoT Scorecard

5.5 million.

That’s how many new devices will get connected to the Internet every day in 2016. The list is limited only by the imaginations of the innovators who see the opportunity to bring intelligence to devices, new business opportunities to those with the vision to seize them, and commerce to environments where it was once impossible.

Keeping track of what those 5.5 million devices will be doing, and who’s enabling them, is where the The PYMNTS IoT Tracker comes in.



B2B APIs aren’t just for large enterprises anymore — middle-market firms and SMBs now realize their potential for enabling low-cost access to real-time payments and account data. But those capabilities are only the tip of the API iceberg, says HSBC global head of liquidity and cash management Diane Reyes. In this month’s B2B API Tracker, Reyes explains how the next wave of banking APIs could fight payments fraud and proactively alert middle-market treasurers to investment opportunities.