Visa, MasterCard follow Apple Pay’s lead with beefed-up security

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A war for mobile wallet dominance is on the horizon. Apple Pay. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The industry is embracing tokenization and biometric security, both of which are Apple Pay's marquee strengths. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple wasn’t kidding when it said Apple Pay would transform mobile payments. Built around easy of use and security, Apple Pay is the industry’s first solution that benefits users and banks.

The security aspect of Apple Pay has been especially crucial to its early success, and now the big credit card companies have been spurred to follow suit. Today both Visa and MasterCard announced new security initiatives to protect against cyberattacks. Visa in particular has borrowed one of Apple Pay’s key ideas: tokenization.

New Apple rewards credit card will earn you free gift cards

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Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Frequent Apple Store shoppers will love the company’s latest credit card partnership with Barclaycard and Visa. Like rewards cards from Amazon and others, you earn points when you spend that add up to free money.

“The Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards” card also offers special financing deals for new Apple product purchases.

Why Apple Pay is the future

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Apple Pay. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
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.

Amazon Rewards credit card now supports Apple Pay

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Amazon Rewards Visa in Passbook. Screenshot: Alex Heath/ Cult of Mac
Amazon Rewards Visa in Passbook. Screenshot: Alex Heath/Cult of Mac

Amazon added Apple Pay support today for its Amazon.com Rewards Visa.

Since Chase, the Amazon rewards card issuer, was an Apple Pay launch partner, some speculated that Amazon intentionally opted out of Apple’s mobile payments system. But Amazon quickly confirmed this week that it was working on adding support for its credit card in the near future. Now it’s followed through.

Samsung’s At It Again, Announces Passbook Clone Called Wallet [MWC 2013]

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post-217687-image-e359062382a6190d7d7ec7061f7939c7-jpg

mwc2013bug-coaBARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS — During a Samsung developer conference here at Mobile World Congress this morning, the Korean company unveiled a new service called Samsung Wallet, which lets Samsung smartphone owners turn tickets, coupons, membership cards, boarding passes, and more into digital cards that they can store in a virtual wallet.

The service probably sounds familiar, and it is — Samsung Wallet is basically Apple’s Passbook, but for Samsung phones. It works in almost exactly the same way, and looks very similar, too.