Samsung Pay Is Here, Supports Magnetic Card Readers

What Happened
Yesterday Samsung unveiled its newest phablet offers – the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+, both of which will come with Samsung’s answer to Apple Pay built in. Similar to its competitors, Samsung Pay allows users to pay at stores with major credit cards by simply tapping their phones at a NFC-enabled card reader and authenticating their identity with a fingerprint scan.

More importantly, however, Samsung Pay can also work with traditional magnetic credit card readers. In addition to the NFC support, it also broadcasts short-range wireless fields that mimic magnetic card swipes. Samsung has planned a beta program in August, and will be rolling it out to Note 5 and S6 Edge+ users in September or October.

What Brands Should Do
As the mobile payment space continues to evolve and diversify, a rapidly increasing number of smartphone users will be adopting it as more options become available. Businesses would be wise to start developing a holistic digital payment strategy to stay ahead of the adoption curve. In addition to its aforementioned compatibility with the vast majority of payment terminals,  Samsung Pay will also support some store credit cards, which means retailers can easily incorporate their rewards and loyalty program into point of sale system.


Source: Re/Code

How Samsung Plans To Compete Against Apple In Mobile Payment

Read original story on: TechCrunch

Look out, Apple Pay! Samsung is entering mobile payment with its acquisition of payment startup of LoopPay. Samsung has stated it will work toward building LoopPay’s technology into future devices, and stressed that a “holistic mobile wallet” based LoopPay’s unique magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology would enjoy wider converge than most mobile payment systems that employ NFC tech, including Apple Pay.

Regardless of Samsung’s self-proclaimed superiority, Apple Pay has already got a great head start, recently entering new territories like vending machines, in-flight purchases, and government agencies. Samsung has a lot catching-up to do if it is serious about competing with the Cupertino rival in mobile payment.

Why Apple Pay Is Now Blocked At CVS

Read original story on: LA Times

Initially supporting, Rite Aid and CVS Pharmacy abruptly pulled support for Apple Pay after a week of smooth operation. According to various sources, the odd move is most likely a result of the retailers’ involvement with the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) consortium. The consortium is currently building CurrentC, a rival system to the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that Apple Pay deploys. Will Apple be influential enough to make CVS and Rite Aid switch side again? Only time will tell.

Update: Apple has reportedly blocked Apple Pay for CurrentC in response. Round 1 is officially on.

Update #2: MCX surrenders as CEO Dekkers Davidson says that the CurrentC exclusivity deal that blocks Apple Pay will expire within “months, not years“, giving its members an easy way out.

What To Expect From Tomorrow’s Apple Event

By now, you probably know about Apple’s live event tomorrow. But after September’s double punch of the Apple Watch and iPhone 6 (and Plus), how will the Cupertino company attempt to wow audiences this time?

Loads of Hardware Updates

The focus of tomorrow’s Apple event is widely speculated to be hardware updates: from new iPads to an updated Mac Mini, everything seems ripe for an annual update just in time for the holiday season. Still, the suspense remains on just how “drastic” the updates will be. For instance, everybody knows that the new iPads are going to be thinner, lighter and faster—but will they come with NFC and Touch ID to make it Apple Pay-ready?

Public Release of Yosemite And Apple Pay

The much-anticipated public release for OS Yosemite and Apple Pay is all-but-confirmed at this point. The scope of Apple Pay’s roll-out, though, will be one interesting thing that we will hopefully find out.

Possible Update of Apple HomeKit

Finally, rumor has it that Apple will update its long-ignored HomeKit by integrating Siri and turning Apple TV into a central hub for smart home appliances. Though least likely to happen, this update would no doubt fit with the “it’s been way too long” tagline on Apple’s event invite.

As usual, we’ll be live-tweeting the event. Check back with us tomorrow to find out what Apple is up to this time.

Why Apple’s Restriction On NFC Use Won’t Last

Apple has confirmed that its newly-added NFC chip in the iPhone 6 is restricted to Apple Pay, citing security concerns for not opening up NFC access. This means no NFC-enabled marketing tools or even other non-commercial convenience apps… for now. Apple restricted its Touch ID fingerprint sensor in a similar way for the iPhone 5S, but has recently opened it up to third-party developers with iOS 8. So it’s very likely that Apple will allow further NFC implementation in a future release of iOS.

6 Things You Need To Know About The New “Apple Pay”

Back at the beginning of the year, reports suggested that Apple would enter the mobile payments space, which were paid off today: Apple officially revealed the NFC-based mobile payment function along with the new iPhone 6. To get ready for this imminent shift in the payment field, here are six things you need to know about Apple’s bid for mobile payment:

1. It’s integrated into the Passbook App and iWatch 

The updated Passbook App acts as the hub for Apple Pay. By adding your credit card information with the iSight camera and pulling from the various third-party apps that support mobile payment and centralizing the function, Apple’s “ticket stub” app just become the de facto mobile wallet. Meanwhile, the iWatch can act as an extra payment option.

2. Major credit card companies have signed up

To make the new payment function easier for users to adopt, Apple has been working with all major U.S. credit card companies, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. In addition, Apple already has payment credentials for some 800 million people globally through iTunes accounts, which will no doubt make the transition from credit card to mobile payment much easier.

3. Many big-name businesses have also signed up

Apple has been signing up volume merchants to familiarize people with paying via mobile. Disney is reportedly outfitting its retail stores with new point-of-sale devices that support NFC. Other retailers, such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, McDonald’s, Subway, Whole Food, Walgreens, CVS, and Duane Reade are also among the first wave of businesses getting on board with Apple.

4. It works for online payment as well

By teaming up with online and mobile retailers like Target, GroupOn, Uber, and Open Table, Apple Pay will be seamlessly integrated into ecommerce.

5. It uses Touch ID and tokenization for extra security

Apple is address security concerns with “tokenization”, which uses one-time codes to secure the transfer of payment information. However, not all NFC payment terminals can accept this type of payment, which means all merchants currently using the non-token model of NFC payment will need to update their end devices to get on board with Apple’s security standard.

6. It will lead to mass adoption of NFC in the US

NFC-based payment has been around on selected Android devices for a while, and has been doing well in some emerging markets, such as China. But with Apple finally getting on the NFC wagon, mass adaptation of the NFC mobile payment seems practically inevitable. In fact, the NFC payment market is estimated to grow to $100 billion in 2016, so it’s time to either get on board, or get left behind.



Clear Channel Introduces Mobile Outdoor Ad Platform

Out-of-home ad company Clear Channel Outdoor is partnering with the New York-based ad tech firm Blue Bite, featured in our virtual lab, to bring its mobile ad platform “Connect” to 28 U.S. cities and Toronto, after a successful trial in some European markets. The platform aims to connect out-of-home advertisements with consumers’ smartphones by turning outdoor structures into digital interfaces using QR codes and near field communication (NFC) technology. It is also reported to be looking into more advanced location-based technology, such as beacons, to explore the largely uncharted territory of proximity-based advertising. As a first step, this is certainly a right step for the OOH ad seller towards a steady digital transformation.

MWC 2014: SAP’s Vending Machine with iBeacon, NFC, and Facial Detection

Check out SAP’s futuristic vending machine in the video below, on display at Mobile World Congress.  It slickly implements pretty much every innovative technology you could ask for including an iBeacon, NFC reader, facial detection (powered by Intel), social media integration and more.

SAP envisions people signing up for loyalty programs tied to a network of these machines, allowing you to earn rewards, pull up your favorite selections on any device, and even buy and send gifts to friends in the program directly from the machine. I was given $10 an a free account, and as you can see from the video the machine addressed me by name when I swiped in via NFC.  If were using an iPhone, the iBeacon could push me an offer or message once I was withing range.

There are about 1,000 of these vending machines in the US now.   SAP is also improving the supply chain side of the equation but collecting data on which sodas are most popular on each individual machine to ensure that companies don’t miss out on sales by running out of product, or carrying the wrong product.  Customers can even request that new beverages be added to the machine in the future if they don’t see what they want.

Sign me up.


MWC 2014: DNP’s iBeacon App Solution For Retailers

While MWC remains an Apple-free zone, this year’s show features a plethora of retail beacon technologies looking to capitalize on Apple’s recent iBeacon launch. Japan’s DNP (Dai Nippon Printing Co) is displaying a templatized white label app solution for retailers looking to integrate iBeacons into the in-store experience.

DNP says the first iteration of its platform is aimed at the Japanese market where consumers prefer an emotional connection with a brand. Coming into proximity with the iBeacon triggers a question on your phone simply asking how you’re doing and an offer to send someone to help with anything you need. Coupons are also readily integrated into the platform for stores looking to make offers available to consumers.

DNP’s solutions on display this year are split 50 /50 between NFC and beacon technology, a telling sign of the current state of the industry.  Having had more time to develop for the NFC world, their offerings there include quantified self integrations with hardware partners like Triplesense — an instore skincare device and sales aid that measures how dry your skin is. Once the analysis is complete, sales associates tap their phones against the device to get skin care product suggestions for the consumer.