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This Week in Payments 10-17-2014

Apple Pay mobile payments service to launch on Monday

Tim Stevens via CNET

Apple is rolling out its mobile payments service Apple Pay on Monday, CEO Tim Cook announced at an event on Thursday.

He said enthusiasm for the service has been huge, with 500 new banks partnering with Apple since the service was announced last month.

“It’s easy, it’s secure and yes, it’s a private way to pay for things,” Cook said at the event in Cupertino, Calif., Thursday. “We think that it is going to be profound.”

Apple unveiled Apple Pay with the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September. The company has partnered with Visa, Mastercard and American Express, along with several issuing banks, to allow iPhone users to store their credit card accounts. Apple Pay will be available in 220,000 US merchant locations that already take mobile payments via the NFC chip’s short-range, secure wireless capabilities.


Prepaid cards rule in September spending; checks see rare increase

via Mobile Payments Today

Prepaid cards accounted for the highest year-over-year dollar volume growth (5.7 percent) in September spending. However credit was close behind with 5 percent growth during the period of Sept. 2–30, 2014, compared with Sept. 3–Oct. 1, 2013.

All other forms of payment saw much smaller y-o-y increases, with none breaking 2 percent. But check use for once recorded positive growth — if only 0.5 percent.

Overall spending slowed in September, following robust back-to-school sales in August, First Data reported. Factors in the decline ranged from a reduced demand for fall merchandise to unseasonably warm weather.

Mobile payments generate new competition among tech companies

By Mark Niu via CCTV America

Ebay shares are down nearly 4 percent in after-hours trading, after the online auction company’s earnings fell below Wall Street forecasts. However one of the keys to Ebay’s future as a viable company could be its link to the mobile payment service Paypal.

Worldwide mobile payments are expected to surpass $1 trillion by 2017. The huge market is fueling competition from the tech industry. Online auction house eBay recently ended its links with PayPal. They are now two separately traded companies. Many analysts believe it will allow each to move more quickly to take on competitors like Amazon and in the mobile payment arena.

Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter also began offering a peer-to-peer mobile payment service in France called S-Money. PayPal, however, acquired the social payment network, Venmo, in 2013.


No Check, Please: OpenTable Launches Mobile Payments in Washington

By Anna Spiegel via Washingtonian

“Life’s too short to wait for the check,” is the motto of  Pay with OpenTable, the new app-based feature that allows restaurant customers to literally skip out on their restaurant check and pay via phone whenever they’re ready to settle up. The mobile service is already active in San Francisco and New York and launches today in Washington with 20 restaurants ready to participate (see the list below). Another 20 cities are expected to get the feature in 2014.

“We’re in an evolution from a transactional brand to an experiences company,” says Scott Jampol, senior vice president of marketing for OpenTable. Such “experiences” include a recent partnership with Uber to ferry diners to and from the eatery, and more site content so guests can browse food photos and plan their meals. “We realized there was an opportunity for us to transform the dining experience,” says Jampol.

Facebook Payments Service Revealed in Hidden Messenger Code

By Thomas Halleck via International Business Times

Facebook is looking to move into mobile payments sooner rather than later. Not content with its better-than-expected growth in mobile advertising, the social network may be planning to allow users to exchange money using its Messenger app.

Messenger could allow users to exchange cash much like they would transfer a photo, according to Andrew Aude. The Stanford student found code within the iOS version of the app that allows users to add payment cards (only debit for now) and PIN codes to send money. Facebook made 92 percent of its revenue in the last quarter from ads, and mobile payments could be a way for the company to diversify its sales.


Twitter Lauches Mobile Payments Before Facebook, (But Apple May Have the Last Laugh)

By Jeremy Quittner via Inc

Twitter may be much smaller than Facebook, but its ability to innovate in payments is allowing it to outgun its much larger competitor, at least for the time being.

Both Twitter and Facebook are competing with other tech giants, including Apple, Google, PayPal and the leading credit card companies to own the emerging mobile payment sector, which is immensely popular with consumers and has proven fertile territory for startups. More specifically, the leading technology companies are seeking an advantage in so-called peer-to-peer payments, which are typically smaller payments sent from one person to another. Individuals could use such payments, for example, when they are splitting a bill or to wire money.

Over the weekend, the Financial Times reported that Twitter now allows users in France to tweet payments to others in their social network. Last week, news leaked out that Facebook will soon enable payments via the social network from debit cards.

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