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This Week in Payments 9-19-2014

Why the US Lags the World in Mobile Payments

By Jacob Davidson via Time

Many American consumers are beyond excited by the prospect of Apple Pay, but overseas the iPhone’s latest feature is old news.

When Apple announced its new payment service, Apple Pay, earlier this month, many in the tech world were blown away. The system allows iPhone users to pay at the checkout counter simply by holding their phone to a receiver for a few seconds. Dieter Bohn, writing for The Verge, called Apple Pay “this week’s most revolutionary product,” and eloquently summarized how most Americans already feel about the status quo: “mobile payments have sucked so far, and it’s high time somebody fixed it.”

Apple a Decade Behind Japan’s Mobile Payment Curve

via Japan Times

Apple Inc.’s proud announcement that its new iPhone could be used to buy goods in a single swipe left customers nonplussed in Japan, where mobile payments have been normal fare for a decade.

A type of Near Field Communication chip, known in Japan as FeliCa, was introduced to the Japanese mobile market in June 2004 and has been implanted in almost all phones sold here since.

The iPhone has been one of the few chipless exceptions, something that will change when the latest models hit Japanese shelves on Friday.

Ten years ago, the charismatic Takeshi Natsuno, who was then multimedia services director of mobile phone operator NTT Docomo, extolled the benefits of swapping cash for cellphones.”When I leave my house in the morning all I take with me is my phone, which lets me do everything — pay, take public transport — simply by swiping a special reader in shops, stations or airports,” he said at the time.

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This App May Let You Retire on Spare Change

By Dan Kadlec via Time

The new Acorns app rounds up card purchases and invests the difference for growth, with no minimums and low fees.

Americans spend $11 trillion a year while saving very little. So it makes sense to link the two, as a number of financial companies have tried to do over the past decade. The latest is the startup Acorns, which hopes to hook millennials on the merits of mobile micro investing over many decades.

Visa Looks to Monetize its Stake in British Mobile Payments Company Monetize

by Mark Calvey via San Francisco Business Times

Visa said it may sell its stake in Monitize, sending shares in the British mobile payments company plunging.

Monitise saw the value of its shares fall more than 25 percent Thursday, after Visa said it was “considering its options,” regarding its 5.5 percent stake in the company, the New York Times reported.

Visa, led by CEO Charlie Scharf, hired J.P. Morgan Chase to help the payments giant evaluate its options.

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SAP buying Concur for $8.3 Billion

By John Cook via Geek Wire

SAP is buying Bellevue-based Concur Technologies in deal valued at $8.3 billion, a 20 percent premium over the Sept. 17th closing price.

Founded in 1993, Concur successfully transformed itself into a software-as-a-service company, building a powerhouse in the travel and entertainment expense management category. The company’s online tools are now used by 23,000 customers worldwide, with 4,200 employees globally. Its revenue run rate now stands at $700 million.

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