Tag - Payments
The "Trade Up with Installments" plan from Apple Stores that allows customers to buy new iPhones with built-in yearly upgrade options for set monthly payments saw some minor changes on Tuesday. The new plans offer customers more flexibility in how they use the money they earn from trading in the older smartphone, but lowers the maximum value of a trade-in from $300 to $250. The changes are only for the Trade-Up option, and don't affect the similar iPhone Upgrade Program.
Two of the largest food-delivery services in the US, Grubhub and its subsidiary Seamless, have updated their iOS apps to accept Apple Pay payments, widening the circle of merchants who accept Apple Pay online. Grubhub generated $2.4 billion in sales in 2015, and 60 percent of that came from online ordering through its mobile apps, so the addition of Apple Pay may help further spur adoption. As recently reported, Apple Pay is highly-regarded among users and banks, but merchants in the US have been slow to adopt the technology, since it generally requires a change in point-of-sale (POS) terminals.
Apple Pay is being made available to more users in Singapore, courtesy of new partnerships forged with banks in the region. Following just a month after the mobile payment platform went live for American Express customers, the service has now expanded to work with cards using Visa and MasterCard for transactions, with five new banks joining the roster of financial institutions that will take credit and debit card payments via iPhones and the Apple Watch.
Negotiations between Apple and some Australian banks over Apple Pay have recommenced, prompted by the first bank to enable the payment platform's apparent success. ANZ Banking Group started offering payments via Apple Pay from late last month, but the customer response and a sudden surge in applications for bank accounts and credit cards has apparently forced competing financial institutions to reconsider whether or not to accept Apple Pay transactions.
Owners of iPhones in Canada are no longer restricted to using American Express cards for contactless payments via Apple Pay, after Apple has made agreements with major banks in the country to use the mobile payment platform in stores. Six months after the American Express deal that brought Apple Pay to Canada, two of the five major banks in the country has enabled support today, with others set to join the roster in the coming months.
Walmart is finally rolling out its competitor to Apple Pay to its mobile app, making it one of the last few major retailers to offer some form of mobile-based payment system in its stores. Walmart Pay will allow customers to register their credit, debit, and gift card details to an account in the app, which can then be used to make payments at the checkout at the retailer's stores across the United States, though when individual stores will gain the ability to accept the payments remains unknown.
Apple Pay has expanded into Singapore, bringing the mobile payment platform to its second market in Asia, but in a limited fashion. The expansion is being performed as part of a deal with American Express, which means that only owners of American Express credit cards will be able to use Apple Pay with contactless payment terminals in the country, in a similar fashion to how Apple Pay arrived in Canada and Australia.
Depending on how you look at it, Facebook is either planning to become a partner or a rival to existing mobile payment services like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and others. The social service is planning to being offering in-store purchases through its mobile Messenger app, and has indicated it would be willing to partner with some of the current players in the virtual-wallet space. Using a partner that has a good reputation for transaction security, such as Apple, would reassure users hesitant to share credit-card information with Facebook.
Apple Pay's launch in China is a success, after figures released by the China Merchants Bank confirmed the payments service enjoyed extremely high usage within the first few days of availability in the country. For the first two days after launch, the bank claims its customers connected 1 million bank cards to Apple Pay, which is said to represent approximately 35 percent of all cards used with the service, with the rest made up of cards from the other 18 Chinese banks supporting Apple Pay at launch.
Apple Pay could roll out in France by the end of this year, but Apple is still said to be in negotiations with major French banks over the matter. Sources of one French outlet claim the commission Apple receives on each Apple Pay transaction from the financial institutions is a sticking point, in that existing transaction fees for debit and credit cards are not much more than what Apple is said to be requesting as its own fee.