Amazon takes on Square and PayPal Here with $10 smartphone cardreader & lower fees

Small businesses looking to take occasional card payments without paying monthly fees now have a third option as Amazon has launched Local Register to compete with Square and PayPal Here – as we predicted last month over on 9to5Mac. The $10 card-reader is currently only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and S5, along with the Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets, but more devices are expected to be added.

Amazon is undercutting both competitor services with a flat fee of 2.5 percent per transaction (vs 2.7 percent for PayPal Here and 2.75 percent for Square). Not enough? Amazon is sweetening the deal with a special introductory rate of 1.75 percent until the end of 2015, and will also credit the $10 cost of the cardreader in full against transaction fees …  Read more

Americans officially living in post-PC world, spending more time using mobile apps & web

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According to new data from Nielsen, Americans now spend more time using mobile web and apps on their smartphones than they do online on their PCs, reports Engadget.

That shift toward mobile is affecting how many spend their free time. Americans spent an average of 34 hours per month using mobile apps and browsers in 2013; that’s more time than they spent online with their PCs, which chewed up 27 hours …  Read more

Samsung and Visa announce deal to preload Visa payWave on future Samsung devices

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Samsung and Visa today announced a deal that would see future Samsung devices preloaded with the Visa payWave applet, allowing consumers to “wave and pay” through Visa’s contactless payment terminals. The Visa payWave service will of course only come preloaded on select Samsung devices, but rumor has it that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4 will be the first to receive the functionality. While Samsung and Visa were showing off the technology with existing NFC-enabled devices at MWC this week, CNET and others have apparently confirmed through sources that the S4 will indeed be the first device to get the applet preloaded.

  • Global Strategic Alliance
    Visa and Samsung have agreed to work together to enable the next generation of Samsung mobile devices with Visa payment technology, and to partner with financial institutions to accelerate the availability of mobile payment solutions globally.
  • Samsung to Connect to Visa’s Mobile Provisioning Service
    In order to enable financial institutions to launch large scale mobile (NFC) payment programs, Samsung will offer banks the ability to load payment account information over-the-air to a secure chip embedded inSamsung devices, using Visa’s Mobile Provisioning Service3 which is linked to Samsung KMS (Key Management System) – a service that creates secure data storage domains for issuers.
  • Samsung Awarded Global Visa payWave License
    The Visa payWave mobile applet will be preloaded onto selected next-generation Samsung mobile devices featuring NFC technology and an embedded secure element. Off the shelf, these devices are ready to be personalized with Visa payment account information – a simple step that consumers will be able to initiate using a mobile payment application provided by their financial institution.

Visa also noted that the partnership, which isn’t exclusive with Samsung, will allow financial institutions with mobile payment programs to “use the Visa Mobile Provisioning Service to securely download payment account information to NFC-enabled Samsung devices.”
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Google Wallet’s prepaid card refund form is now online

Google Wallet launched with free $10 prepaid cards to welcome users to the mobile payments system, but the company later revealed that it would discontinue the complimentary gifts and issue refunds for remaining balances in October.

Well, the time has now come… and Google is keeping its promise. Folks need to complete Google’s refund form online to get their money. It asks for their Google Wallet device ID, name, phone number, and other sensitive details.

Refunds come via check or prepaid MasterCard. Google will not process the requests until after Oct. 30, however, so do not expect to receive the prepaid card for another 7 to 10 business days. Those who choose the alternative option will receive a check within eight weeks.

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Google Wallet competitor ISIS launches next week?

We knew Google Wallet would not be the only mobile payment solution on the market back in December 2011 when carriers moved to block the service in anticipation of their own ISIS mobile payment project. Today, a report from TmoNews, citing an image of internal T-Mobile documents, claimed the carrier is getting ready for a pilot program of ISIS starting Oct. 22.

According to the document, the ISIS Mobile Wallet service will roll out via the Google Play store to Galaxy S III and Galaxy S Relay 4G users in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas. It will also require an ISIS SIM card, but T-Mobile will offer $25 in ISIS cash as a special offer for activating the service:

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