Microsoft has officially entered into the domain of payments, with Microsoft Payments, Inc.,
When the announcement came out a week or so ago, that Microsoft was entering into the world of payment (see references below), it was only natural to search the various state financial regulators websites for issuance of money transmitter licenses.
Below is a screenshot from the NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry or Nationwide Multistate Licensing System) that shows the license(s) on file on behalf of Microsoft.
The State of Idaho (Department of Finance) was one of the first to issue the money transmitter license to the Redmond giant. The details of the licenses as and when Microsoft gets them in the NMLS can be viewed here.
The compliance & filing assistance was done in conjunction with Chartwell Compliance. Microsoft has filed in all 50 States for their money transmitter licenses.
Microsoft's FinCEN registration can be seen here:
With the grant of the Idaho Money Transmitter License, Microsoft has now formally entered into the world of payments!
Microsoft is clearly focused on introducing payment technologies in its platforms:
The next update to the Windows operating system, i.e. Windows 10, is being touted as a universal platform supporting all types of devices including mobile phones and tablets. Windows 10 is expected to offer support for in-app payments based on NFC. Microsoft has been busy hiring software developers and testers to join a team engaged in development of a platform for NFC payments via Windows devices.
Apart from supporting NFC, Microsoft's upcoming OS Windows 10 will support Host Card Emulation (HCE) as well. This will suppress the need for a secure element embedded in the phone or a SIM card. This means that Microsoft will not have to partner with mobile carriers to support payments. Instead, Microsoft will look to partnering with Visa, MasterCard and Amex to enable HCE based mobile payments.