The second full week of June brought a flurry of news from many of the “majors” in the mobile payments ecosystem.
While this news has been well known for a few months now, Samsung Pay arrives in Singapore today (June 16).
Singapore is on just about everyone’s hit list given its attractive population and environment for mobile payments. And as of today, users of Galaxy Note 5, S6 Edge+ and the S7/S7 Edge phones can use Samsung Pay in the region. While Apple Pay also recently launched in Singapore, Samsung Pay joins the region with its signature niche: the MST tech that makes Samsung Pay usable at virtually anywhere merchant credit cards are accepted.
It's been a busy week for Samsung's mobile team. Just yesterday (June 15), Samsung Pay officially launched in the land down under.
With Australia now officially open for business, Samsung Pay is in six markets worldwide. The list is forecast to grow through the rest of 2016 and should include the U.K., Brazil and Canada by the end of the year.
But Samsung Pay's mobile payments play in this region is about much more than just payments. Samsung is debuting its "value-added" vision to the world of mobile pay.
“We want to replace your wallet. We want to go beyond payments and go into things like gift cards. We also think about who we are as a company, and so, when we talk about providing cool payment services, we are starting already to think about how we can pull together all the different things we do from the consumer electronics point of view,” said Elle Kim, head of global business development for Samsung Pay. "I think if all we do is tap, most people will think, ‘Hang on a minute, my card does that,’ so we need to figure out how to innovate and bring more value to consumers."
That has Samsung thinking about ways to enable commerce anywhere, including the home. In the U.S. Samsung has enabled payments in their smart fridge. Samsung is also heavily invested in the wearable payments market.
Apple Pay is finally make its way to the web — with a few constraints.
While an “Apple Pay” button will be available for a retailer’s site, it will only be accessible through the Safari browser on a Mac computer, making the addressable market about 10 percent of desktop browser use. (Google Chrome represents about 40 percent.) In addition, the desktop user still needs to be able to access Touch ID via their iPhone or Apple Watch. While this is a strategy that is designed to use Apple Pay to connect all of its devices via a single way to pay, it introduces an additional set of barriers for users.
Apple Pay also picked up some support from some old and new names this week. IBM announced that Apple Pay will soon be coming to IBM's website to serve its commercial clients on IBM’s WebSphere Commerce, which powers over 12,000 storefronts for online retailers. This follows Apple’s earlier announcements with IBM to establish partnerships on the enterprise side of their business.
French Telco, Orange, announced this week that it plans to offer its Orange Cash customers Apple Pay as part of a commitment to mobile payments in France. It’s expected that Apple’s mobile wallet will be available to the more than 200,000 Orange customers who have already used Orange Cash later this year.
MasterCard and Visa both announced this week they will be enabling Apple Pay access for Hong Kong-based cardholders. More importantly, a recent study by MasterCard noted that customers in Hong Kong are increasingly using mobile payments and that as many as three-quarters of consumers plan to make at least some use of them in the next year.
The updated Apple Pay page on the Hong Kong Apple website now shows Visa, MasterCard and American Express as the credit card networks for its mobile payment service. American Express was the first of the three networks to announce Apple Pay’s expansion into Hong Kong last year.
Apple Pay is also getting a boost in Europe, with expansion planned into France and Switzerland, care of Visa Europe.
It's been a while since Microsoft earned a spot for itself in a mobile payments tracker, but this week it was reported that Microsoft's new mobile payments app will launch sometime this summer with the name Wallet 2.0.
That wallet will debut with a NFC tap and pay technology to enable users to make mobile payments. The software update has been stated to embrace Lumia devices that have been running Windows 8.1. When the app is launched, cards that have been imported to the Microsoft account will be imported into the Tap to Pay platform.
New cards can be added manually, with a form to be filled out or through a process that would scan the cards through an app. The verification comes through an SMS code.
Chase Pay hasn’t launched yet for in-store or in-app payments, but it already has support from a major gas station chain.
JPMorgan Chase recently announced that it secured a multi-year deal with Shell to accept Chase Pay at all of its gas stations. When it officially launches beyond the eCommerce option later this year (date TBD), it will serve as an app that will enable consumers to pay at the pump using their phone.
The details of Chase Pay were first announced last October, when the company revealed it would be rolling out a mobile/digital closed-loop network of merchants and consumers.
Now, as part of its new deal with Shell, it appears Chase is on its way to securing more support for its mobile wallet service that’s likely to be launched into market soon. And it’s got one major goal with this mobile payments play: loyalty. Chase Pay will also integrate Shell’s Fuel Rewards program.
One year ago, Square unveiled its new mPOS device that accepts EMV and NFC payments, including Apple Pay. And one year later, Square provided a few updates about its progress.
Since June 2015, more than half a million of these devices have been ordered by small businesses. They got their fair share of use at the Coachella Music Festival, where Square was used for more than 10 percent of all contactless transactions — 10 times higher than the industry average. For the BottleRock festival, Square’s contactless payments accounted for 14 percent of the card transactions during that three-day period.
Fifth Third Bank said on Wednesday (June 8) that it has begun to offer its consumers the option to transact with credit and debit cards using the Samsung Pay platform.
Separately, U.S. Bank stated on that same day that MasterCard members can use Android Pay, along with Samsung Pay, to broaden payment options for its own installed base.
U.S. Bank customers, in addition to small business cardholders, can load cards onto Android and Samsung mobile devices and can use the aforementioned solutions, which also work with MasterCard credit cards that are issued by U.S. Bank for co-branded partners, such as Edward Jones and REI.