Just like one of The Avengers — where bickering superheroes team up to fight a far more oppressive evil — Apple and Android fans on reddit have united forces to boycott what they see as the unethical blocking of NFC payment systems by a number of different retailers, affecting users of both Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
The reason for this blocking of the NFC service is that the retailers in question — including Gap, Old Navy, 7-Eleven, Sears, Kmart and others — are part of an organization called Merchant Customer Exchange, which uses its own payment system called CurrentC.
About to test Apple Pay at the local Walgreens. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Critics are fond of saying Apple doesn’t innovate any more. But Apple’s new electronic payment system, Apple Pay, is innovation of the highest order. After a relatively smooth rollout this week, I honestly believe Apple Pay is the future of payments.
Even so, Apple Pay must clear some big hurdles if it’s to become the universal standard. For now, it’s limited to Apple’s latest iPhones and a relatively small number of retail partners, but the basic system — using your fingerprint to validate a purchase on your mobile phone — is the way we will pay for goods and services in the future.
Once again, Apple has shown the world how things should be done.
Apple put mobile wallet payment platforms like Google Wallet, Square and PayPal on notice this week with the reveal of Pay, but before Cupertino decided to launch its answer to the wallet, sources tell TechCrunch the company was eyeing an acquisition of Square.
Square’s simplistic payments platform seems like it would have been the perfect fit for Apple and would have added “Next Steve Jobs Nominee” Jack Dorsey to its loaded executive ranks, but after Apple executives failed to put enough cash on the table, Square walked away from negotiations.
Great news for corrupt restaurant employees and criminal scum everywhere: you can now use the latest Google Wallet app to skim credit cards right into your iPhone. In theory at least. And without actually recording the magnetic strip. But “Google Wallet update allows easy addition of credit cards using the iPhone camera” doesn’t have the same link-baiting ring to it. So scum and villainy it is.
Good news, Google Wallet users — you can now access your account on your iOS device with an official Google Wallet app. You can use it to make payments to friends, track your loyalty cards, and access nearby offers. One feature you won’t find, however, is tap-to-pay, which relies on NFC connectivity.
Got an Android phone with NFC and ticked off you can’t use it anywhere for mobile payments? Blame Apple. According to one industry watcher, the Cupertino-based tech company is responsible for setting back the emerging NFC market by two years in the United States.
Google Wallet has been out for almost a year now, and it allows you to store your credit cards on your Android phone and make payments via NFC, but because of limited partnerships during its launch, it hasn’t really taken off yet.
Now that Google’s seen some of the features Apple plans to bring to the iPhone with the Passbook app, Google has decided to double down on Wallet and bring in new features so it functions more like Passbook.
PayPal looks to expand its mobile payment market share and features with an app-based payment trial at McDonald’s locations in France.
Square’s announcement of its partnership with Starbucks and the launch of new mobile payment company by several key retail and service chains were signs that the mobile payment industry and digital wallet concept is big business. Late last week, however, there was more news on the mobile payments front that proves that the race is far from over – one could even say that it’s barely started.
In a move that could make Square’s deal with Starbucks seem small and limited, Reuters reports that PayPal may soon be expanding its brand of mobile payments to include on the biggest fast food chains on the planet – McDonald’s. PayPal is currently testing a payment system in 30 McDonald’s locations in France. The company demoed the technology earlier this year.
Major retails join forces on mobile payments system to fend of Google, PayPal, Isis, and other potential digital wallet competitors like Apple.
In a move that makes the Square/Starbucks partnership announced last week look like small potatoes, a group of national and international retailers announced plans to develop their own mobile payment network complete with mobile apps and digital wallet functionality. The move seems almost certain to shake up the nascent mobile payments market where a wide range of companies and organizations have been trying to figure out the secret sauce that will turn mobile payments into a mainstream retail system for the past couple of years.
The Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, as the new company is known, plans to deliver a solution that offers convenience in both making purchases and in receiving customizable offers from retailers. Development of a mobile app and payment network are underway, but MCX has yet to announce any details about either the app or its network.