Copyright © 2015
Tag - Google Wallet
Technology industry leaders Amazon, Apple, Google, Intuit and PayPal today announced the formation of Financial Innovation Now. The new Washington DC lobbyist super-group is a coalition that will promote tech-company friendly policies to help foster greater innovation in financial services, as well as claiming to assist consumers in the transition to new payment services like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Wallet.
Google has taken a step to protect the users of Google Wallet, by making funds stored on their accounts FDIC-insured. Confirmed to Yahoo Finance, Google is now storing funds of its users in multiple banking institutions that are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, safeguarding account balances in the event the company or bank shuts down.
Softcard, the mobile payments service backed by carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile, will be closing completely by the end of this month. The company revealed that, following the purchase of its intellectual property and technology by Google, the Softcard app will cease working on March 31, with accounts automatically closing on the same date.
Google will be launching a new payments API at its Google I/O developer conference in May, a report claims, potentially giving Apple Pay some stiff competition. Android Pay will allow developers to not only add mobile payments to their apps, but to also facilitate in-store purchases via smartphone over NFC. The news comes as Softcard reveals it is starting to pull support for its apps, following the purchase of its intellectual property by the search company.
Google is preparing to compete more intensely against Apple Pay, by acquiring mobile payments technology from Softcard. At the same time, Google has struck a deal with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless to have Google Wallet pre-installed on sold devices, the same group of carriers who backed the Softcard payments system in the first place.
Google is adding the Send Money option to Gmail in the United Kingdom. Originally available to US users since 2013, the option allows users to attach funds to an outbound email by selecting the £ symbol, which can also be used to request money, with funds transferred between users via Google Wallet. The feature is rolling out to all Gmail users in the UK over the age of 18 in the coming weeks.
Softcard, a mobile payments system that preceded but competes against systems such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, was created as a joint venture with investments by mobile carriers AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. In the midst of Apple implementing near-field communications (NFC) for Apple Pay, along with internal struggles at Softcard, reports are surfacing that the mobile payment company is being sized up for purchase, potentially by one of its rivals.
Call it the omni-terminal: point-of-sale terminal maker Verifone has unveiled a new model, the PAYware Mobile e355, which the company says is compatible with all forms of mobile and traditional card payments, from simple magnetic stripe (currently widely used in the US) to chip-and-PIN EMV cards coming this year, and all forms of NFC-based payment systems utilizing iOS, Android or Windows Phone -- including Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Softcard and others.
Mujjo has introduced its Leather Wallet Case line-up for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in gray, as part of its Desaturated Collection. The wallet case is designed to hold two to three essential cards without sacrificing a thin profile. The case is available in two styles for iPhone 6 -- one with the card slot angled upright and the other with an 80 degree angle pocket -- and the 80 degree angle pocket case is available for iPhone 6 Plus. Pricing for the Desaturated Collection begins at $40, and cases can be purchased through Mujjo.
The COO for MCX, Scott Rankin, has spoken to USA Today in an attempt to defend CurrentC, an upcoming mobile payment system that has taken flak for various policies, such as excluding Apple Pay and Google Wallet (and other NFC-based payment systems) at participating retail chains. He has said, in his trademark unclear manner, that the length of exclusivity is "closer to months than years," which suggests that some retailers signed on for CurrentC -- such as CVS and Rite Aid -- could begin accepting rival payment options by the end of 2015 or 2016.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN