Enabling Technologies

All the Major Updates About Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay

The growth of mobile phone users, mobile and smartphone penetration coupled with decreasing prices of handsets has made this channel the number one focus area for every organization. The convenience that a mobile provides in terms of payments is one of the major interest areas that any commerce/transaction application is looking to build up.

Let us take a look at the major updates from the key players in this space.

Apple Pay:

1. Contactless payment system Apple Pay has taken one step closer towards its plan to enter company’s second-largest market, China, by registering an entity in the Shanghai free-trade zone to operate Apple Pay in China, reports WSJ. The new entity has a registered capital of $13.4 million.

Apple introduced Apple Pay on October 20, 2014. After almost one year, today Apple pay is one of the most successful in-store payments systems in the world.

The Apple’s entity is called Apple Technology Service (Shanghai) Ltd., which has been set up in the Shanghai free-trade zone to promote Apple Pay, Shanghai’s government-backed newspaper Wenhui News reported.

Apple Technology Service (Shanghai) Ltd. was registered in the city’s free-trade zone on June 10, according to the Shanghai government’s company-registration database. Its scope of business operations include technical consulting, services and system integration in the field of payments, the database showed.

For Apple China is one of the most important markets due to its prominent presence. In Q3 2015, out of Apple’s $46.9 billion in revenue China share was 27%. The reason behind China contributing such a bigger pie in the revenue is because of the demand for the iPhone in the region.

With Apple making such an impact in China, the potential for Apple Pay in China is also huge. But China is a country where mobile payment is deeply entrenched. There are many players who already contribute to the mobile payments space in a bigger manner.

According to China Sales Co., an official global licensed partner and system provider for Alipay, as of January 2015, there were over 900 million Alipay accounts. Among these accounts, 350 million are registered users—almost triple the size of its US rival PayPal.

Apple still needs regulatory approval to launch in China. Let’s see how the company plans to face the competition in China.

Talking about the US and the UK, Apple has done an exceptional job and has made contactless payments mainstream in these countries.

In June 2015, Apple announced the overseas expansion of Apple Pay. Apple Pay worked with 70% of credit and debit cards in the UK that included Halifax, Lloyds Bank and the Bank of Scotland; 250,000 locations in the UK have started accepting Apple Pay since July, including major merchants and Transport for London (TfL).

Apple Pay already supports cards that represented roughly 90% of the credit card purchase volume in the US.

2. The latest update from Apple is that Discover cardholders will be able to use Apple Pay from September 16 with iOS9. Discover Card is the third-largest credit card brand in the United States. To lure its users to use more Apple Pay, Discover will be offering 10% cash-back up to $10,000 of in-store purchases until the end of the year. Some Discover cardholders will enjoy an extra 10 miles per dollar up to $10,000 of in-store purchases.

Apple has done an exceptional job in making contactless payments mainstream, but it still has a long way to go. It will be more interesting to watch whether the dream run continues in the upcoming years.

Samsung Pay:

1. Samsung Pay—a secure and easy-to-use mobile payment service that can be used to make purchases nearly everywhere cards are accepted—was launched in Korea on August 20. Around 500,000 users signed up for the service since its launch in South Korea.

Samsung Pay’s popularity in South Korea is definitely going to boost the US launch; Samsung is planning to launch Samsung Pay in the US on September 28. It will be preloaded on some of the latest Samsung devices such as the Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 and will also be available as a free software upgrade to enable Samsung Pay on Galaxy S6 and S6 edge devices. Once launched, US cardholders will be able to make safe, seamless and secure payments with their MasterCard consumer credit, debit and select prepaid and small-business cards.

Wallet wars have already started in ads. See the video to know more:

2. Samsung announced that it will launch new mid and low-tier smartphones compatible with Samsung Pay.

Samsung Pay, officially launched in South Korea last month, is currently available for only high-end smartphone models released this year, including the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Note 5.

When asked if the company plans to provide the service on cheaper smartphones, Jong-Kyun Shin (who heads Samsung's mobile business) said, "It will gradually expand."

"The Samsung Pay service is going well, and I think more users will be able to use it," Shin said after a meeting of Samsung Group presidents.

Samsung Pay, a secure and easy-to-use mobile payment service that can be used to make purchases nearly everywhere cards are accepted, was launched in South Korea on August 20.

Since its launch in South Korea, Samsung says an average of 25,000 new users are signing up daily. The company is seeing more than $620,000 in transactions on an everyday basis.

Samsung is planning to launch Samsung Pay in the US on September 28. Samsung plans to roll out the service in the UK, Spain and China, with partners to be named in each market.

Android Pay:

1. Android users will now be able to make contactless payments in the US. Google, in collaboration with the payment networks, finally rolled out Android Pay on September 10. 

Android Pay is out and it will work on all NFC enabled Android devices. All the Android devices running KitKat 4.4 and above are NFC enabled. Android Pay is supported by the 4 big payments networks, viz. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. The issuer banks supporting Android Pay include American Express, Bank of America, Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, USAA, and U.S. Bank. However Wells Fargo, Citibank and Capital One customers will have to wait for few days according to Android’s official blog.

Priti Thakur

Priti has keen interest in digital money and fintech startups . She completed her B-School education this year and likes to write about innovation with respect to digital payments.

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