China’s dominant mobile payment service is making its move in the U.S.. Ant Financial, the Alibaba spin-off that operates Alipay, has inked a deal with payment processor firm First Data that will allow its service to be used at point-of-sale with more than four million retail partners in the U.S.. The deal is the first of its kind for Alipay in the U.S.. The two companies… Read More
Plastc is throwing in the towel today. The smart card maker sent a message to backers (which now also graces the startup’s homepage) announcing that it’s “exploring options” for filing Chapter 7 and, more importantly, is shutting down all operations as of today. Read More
The latest company to benefit from the newfound attention on technologies to facilitate payments and credit and debit card adoption in emerging markets is the Mexican startup, Clip, which raised $8 million in a Series A round (one of the largest in the country’s largest early-stage investments). Read More
The business of commerce is alive and well, and while there’s far too much noise for anyone to stand on the mobile side, Paytouch is hoping to add a new wrinkle on the conventional end. The Barcelona-based outfit was on hand here at The Next Web Conference, showcasing its biometric payment terminal and setting the stage for what’s to come. For those unfamiliar, the Paytouch terminal is currently being used at Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel — users with a Paytouch account simply link their credit card to their fingerprints, and a two-finger press is all it takes to order another glass of sangria. The benefits are fairly obvious for all parties involved. For the consumer, there’s no longer a need to carry a credit card that can be skimmed, lost or stolen; for the retailer, it’s able to encourage impulse buying in an entirely new way; for Paytouch, there’s a commission paid on each purchase.
Filed under: Software
While the US wireless industry seems far away from finding a universal mobile payment system, T-Mobile’s new BFF MetroPCS appears to have made its choice. Taking to its official Facebook page, the carrier announced on Monday that the Samsung Galaxy S III is its first handset to support Google Wallet. In choosing Google’s mobile payment platform, MetroPCS joins two of its biggest competitors, Sprint and US Cellular. It should be noted that T-Mobile is deeply committed to Google’s wireless payment competitor Isis, which recently became ready for public consumption. Once the two carriers exchange nuptials next year, it’s possible that we could be looking at the wireless industry’s first mobile payment Brady Bunch. However, looking back at T-Mobile’s previous attempts at mobile matrimony, we won’t be holding our breath waiting for this union to become official.
Most stores accepting mobile payments usually have to take just one format, whether it’s Google Wallet, Square or another flavor that you probably can’t use. LevelUp is convinced you shouldn’t have to choose platforms: it just revealed a new payment dock that will recognize both the company’s existing QR code system as well as NFC. It’s much easier sight on the eyes than typical NFC terminals, to boot. Just don’t expect a one-for-one recreation of systems like Google Wallet or Isis. Rather than expose your banking details by holding them in a chip, LevelUp’s NFC is just used to move the transaction along — if it’s used to get things started, shoppers can either switch to a QR code or complete the transaction with a second tap. The company is mostly planning to replace its existing payment points across the US with the NFC-aware models. Bluetooth 4.0 is an option for the future, however, which could make LevelUp even more of a Swiss Army Knife for the world of mobile commerce.
Not all mobile news is destined for the front page, but if you’re like us and really want to know what’s going on, then you’ve come to the right place. This past week, CyanogenMod gained a new logo, Google acquired a mobile payments company and we learned that the HTC EVO 4G LTE for Sprint will include an embedded SIM card. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore the “best of the rest” for this week of April 2nd, 2012.