Starbucks for Android updated w/ new widgets, ability to digitally tip, shake your phone to pay, more

The Starbucks app on Android has always been on the forefront of mobile payment and technology features, and this evening, the app has received an update making it even more useful for customers. Bumping the app to version 2.7, the update today adds a handful of new features, including the ability to pay tips digitally and shake your phone to pay.

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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

nielsen-smartphone-usage-2013

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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Google teams with leading US carriers to form Mobile Payments Committee

There is a new sheriff in town for the mobile payments arena—or at least that’s what VentureBeat described in a report on the newly formed Mobile Payments Committee.

Electronic Transactions Association CEO Jason Oxman announced the group’s genesis in an interview this morning, where he explained the committee boasts representation from the four leading U.S. carriers.

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile have apparently united to grapple with mobile payments, and it appears Google, PayPal, ISIS, VeriFone, and Intuit are also members, while Verizon Executive Director of Federal Relations Jackie Moran serves as the group’s chair.

According to VentureBeat, the Mobile Payments Committee will:

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Google acquires TxVia for help in the online payments department

Google today revealed that it purchased mobile payments company TxVia for an undisclosed sum of money.

we’ve acquired payments technology company TxVia to complement our payments capabilities and accelerate innovation towards our full Google Wallet vision. TxVia is a technology pioneer that offers a fast, flexible and highly reliable payments platform—which we believe is one of the best in the world.

Since 2008, TxVia has supported the management of more than 100 million accounts. They’ve partnered with the industry’s best known brands, and their leadership team has played an instrumental role in defining the fast-growing prepaid card segment of emerging payments. In this time, TxVia has also certified and directly connected to the major payment networks, which establishes a solid foundation for Google Wallet and our partners to drive innovation on a global scale and in a partner friendly way.

Google Wallet has been somewhat slow in adoption due in no small part to the competing Verizon-AT&T-T-Mobile ISIS consortium. Google’s Payments team has also undergone some strife…

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Google launches Wallet with new promo clip and $10 free bonus

First they made a video testimonial featuring a bunch of excited developers. Last week brought us a promo clip they first played back to journalists who attended presser in May. Then came the first official Google Wallet commercial featuring Seinfeld’s George Constanza and his exploding wallet. Today, the search company has officially rolled out Wallet, a mobile payment service.

As you can see from the clip we embedded above, it features Google engineers highlighting the many benefits of paying simply by tapping your phone to a terminal. One thing immediately captures attention: The “hundreds of thousands” of points of sale which support Google Wallet, all MasterCard PayPass terminals. Google promised at the May unveiling they would support more smartphones with an NFC chip in the future, not ruling out  a next-gen iPhone. Today, the company wrote in a blog post:

Today, Visa, Discover and American Express have made available their NFC specifications that could enable their cards to be added to future versions of Google Wallet.

If you’re a Sprint customer with a Nexus S 4G device, the Google Wallet app will be delivered as an over the air update. Just tap the Wallet app on your home screen, add your Citi MasterCard credit card or set up a Google Prepaid Card and transfer some funds to it from any of your credit cards and off you go.

Early adopters who set up a Google Prepaid Card before the year’s end also get a $10 free bonus. When you see the Google Wallet logo on a poster, simply scan it with your phone to add the advertised offer or coupon to your Google Wallet account. The below walkthrough by TechCrunch lays out everything you need to know about Google Wallet in Layman’s terms. Good-bye wallet, the phone will take it from here and another from ThisIsMyNextRead more

MasterCard shows off the future of payment (and it’s not just Google Wallet)


Image courtesy of Engadget

Google Wallet, a mobile payment service announced in May, lets you pay on the go by tapping a phone to an intelligent terminal. If a splashy video tour from Monday is anything to go by, it should forever change – for the better – how we as a society pay for goods and services. Initial implementation requires a MasterCard PayPass terminal which accepts digital receipts and coupons from mobile devices, over the air, and then carries out transactions with financial institutions.

MasterCard today shed more light on a mobile application they’ve been developing in partnership with Google. A quick visit to Engadget which has a cool video tour proves the app works as advertised: Tap a phone to a terminal and that’s it. The app will allow users to set spending limits, set alerts for overseas activity and restrict purchases across categories so, say, your spouse can only pay for dinning, movie tickets and gas, excluding clothes, make up and other impulse purchases.

The app currently works on Sprint’s Nexus S 4G but they are planning on supporting more devices with an NFC chip. The software will also enable MasterCard’s QkR platform for mobile purchasing that supports QR codes, television audio signals encoded with purchase data and even tiny NFC chips embedded into real-world objects, such as fast-food tabletops. These QkR-supported features should be realized across Android, iOS, Windows Phone Mango and BlackBerry platforms, MasterCard promises.

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Video highlights Google Wallet’s many potentials

In May, Google proclaimed the end of the wallet by announcing a new service called Google Wallet that promises to make mobile paying as easy as tapping a phone to an intelligent terminal which can take digital receipts and coupons and carry out the transaction. The company followed-up with a splashy video that highlighted the bright future of digital invoicing. Four months in, people still carry traditional wallets in their pockets. Heck, some even keep an iPhone in their wallet.

The Next Web points to an interesting video put together by AdZag, explaining why Google Wallet is a disruptive technology of the future rather than a fad. It’s actually the clip Google showed at the Wallet presser, it just hasn’t been available online until now. Google Wallet’s biggest hurdle is availability….

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