Copyright © 2016
Tag - Mobile payments
On Friday, Apple added another 32 US financial institutions on its Apple Pay partner site who are now supporting the company's mobile payments technology, bringing the total in the United States up to an even 1,000 (not including two "loyalty card" issuers, BJ's Wholesale and Kohl's). The news comes following reports that Apple Pay is now accepted at over two million terminals worldwide and further reports that a number of name-brand chains is set to expand significantly across 2016.
Barclays, one of the last major banks and financial institutions in the United Kingdom that still does not offer Apple Pay to its customers, now aims to begin supporting the mobile payments service in the next few month. An email sent from an executive at the bank to a customer advises it is still holding to its previous claim of a launch early this year, and anticipates it will do so "within the next 60 to 75 days."
Following on from the launch of Walmart Pay, Target is working on its own mobile payments service, according to a report. In an effort to take on Apple Pay and other platforms, the retailer is said to be early in development of the system, which would allow customers to pay at the register using their smartphone, with a view to launching the mobile wallet app as early as next year, if everything goes to plan.
Walmart is continuing its ongoing avoidance of supporting Apple Pay, by launching its own rival mobile payment service for use in its retail outlets. Running within the current Walmart app, Walmart Pay will let customers pay for goods at the checkout in stores using their smartphone, with payment extracted from any major credit, debit, pre-paid, or Walmart gift card linked to the account via the app.
Apple Pay users with MasterCard-based credit cards will be able to travel across the London Underground at no charge on certain dates, as part of a new initiative. The "Fare Free Mondays" promotion will refund fares for the transportation network across the UK capital every Monday from today until December 14, but only for daily fares paid for with credit cards that use MasterCard via Apple's mobile payments platform.
On a European tour ostensibly to promote the new iPad Pro, Apple CEO Tim Cook has had a variety of meetings -- ranging from his usual unannounced appearances at Apple Stores to meeting with the finance chief of the UK to a speech to students at an Italian university. With the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Cook wanted the government to help speed up adoption of mobile payments; in various UK newspaper interviews, he hinted at further health products, and in Italy, he waxed reminiscent on his own schooldays.
JPMorgan Chasewill be taking on the mobile payments market with its own service, by partnering with retailer consortium MCX to produce a CurrentC-based app. Chase Pay is anticipated to launch in the middle of next year, with bank customers expected to be able to pay for goods and services at a number of retailers using their smartphone, though unlike its main competitors, such as Apple Pay, the system will use on-screen barcodes to facilitate payment instead of NFC.
Just as previously rumored, Apple Pay has gone live in the United Kingdom, approximately nine months after it first launched in the United States. Usable with existing contactless payment systems in more than 250,000 retailers across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, the service includes support for quite a few banks and financial institutions in the country, though there are a few notable banks missing from the initial launch list.
After becoming best known for being the only major UK bank not to support the forthcoming rollout of Apple Pay support in the UK in favor of its own, much more awkward "bPay" solution, Barclays has apparently done an about-face and announced that it will provide "imminent" support of Apple Pay in the UK in the near future. The mobile payments system, anticipated to formally go live on Thursday, will still face some limitations.
Contrary to earlier media reports that suggested Home Depot would drop the mobile payments service, in fact the company has announced that it formally plans to support Apple Pay throughout its entire US operation, making it the largest retailer thus far to support Apple's mobile-payments platform. The announcement comes alongside, and will not replace, stores' acceptance of payment rival PayPal, and the chain says it may continue to add other payment forms.
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Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko