Tag - Mobile wallet
Following reports of greater international expansion on the horizon and some 30 banks and credit unions added in the middle of last month, Apple has again updated its list of partner financial institutions that are offering support for Apple Pay with another 30 banks and credit unions. The overall list of US institutions offering Apple Pay support now cracks 1,300, even though domestic merchants have been slow to adopt the technology that would enable Apple Pay -- and its NFC-using mobile wallet rivals -- to thrive in the US.
As happens every two weeks, Apple has updated its Apple Pay partners page to add yet more US financial institutions that are now supporting adding their credit and debit cards to Apple's Wallet app on iOS devices and the Apple Watch, enabling Apple Pay after a verification check. In this round, another 30 banks and credit unions have jumped on board, bringing the total to at least 1,270 institutions now offering support for the mobile wallet technology. At this point, the remaining institutions to be added are generally small local or regional institutions.
On Friday, Apple added another 48 US financial institutions on its Apple Pay partner site who are now supporting the company's mobile payments technology, notably including Ally Bank (which we previously covered in a briefly item), one of the last major national US banks that had not supported the mobile wallet technology. In addition, Apple posted that it has expanded Apple Pay in China to another three banks there. Apple now boasts at least 1,120 US issuers that support its mobile-payment technology (not including two "loyalty card" issuers, BJ's Wholesale and Kohl's).
A new study of public requests for more NFC-based mobile wallet options when paying has found that Apple Pay is by far the most-requested "tap to pay" option, and that consumers are accelerating their demands for mobile-payment options at the places they shop in the US -- which will be good news for all "e-wallet" vendors. The poll, conducted by analyst firm Piper Jaffray, asked 507 resellers and independent software merchants about mobile payment technology options.
A new report confirmed by the head of Wells Fargo's ATM division suggests that at least two large US banks are working on adding NFC secure payment functionality to automatic teller machines, giving customers the option of simply waving their smartphone or Apple Watch to use Apple Pay-style authentication rather than the traditional debit card insertion and PIN confirmation entry. The system will also support other mobile wallets, and is being tested with Android Pay currently.
PayPal has made two announcements relating to mobile payments at Mobile World Congress, including an acquisition. The company has purchased Paydiant, a startup that provides mobile wallet services to retailers and banks for payments, loyalty cards, and coupons. At the same time, PayPal advises it will be making an updated version of its Here Chip and PIN reader, this time one that works with NFC.
[Updated with MCX clarification] Rather than disable its NFC-compatible terminals and stop taking Apple Pay (or Google Wallet, or Softcard) mobile payments after a period of compatibility, grocery chain Meijer has said it has "no plans" to stop accepting NFC-compatible systems in its stores -- despite being a member of MCX's CurrentC program, which contractually bars competing systems. The CurrentC system, which does not formally begin until sometime next year, may try to impose fines as per its agreement with Meijers.
Isis, the payment company responsible for Mobile Wallet, has decided to change its name to differentiate itself from a violent militant group. CEO Michael Abbott announced the change on the Isis site, stating that the company didn't wish to share a name, even by coincidence. While a new brand hasn't been selected, the company is working on one now.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE