Someday soon you’ll be telling your kids about those quaint old days when everyone carried a wallet
U.S. consumers spent about $8.7 billion in checkout lines last year using their phones, estimates researcher EMarketer. Retailers and banks are pushing out their own payment apps to cut swipe fees, get valuable data on people’s buying habits, or both. “Every one of the top 11 issuers of credit and debit cards by the end of next year will have their own version of Pay,” says Richard Crone, chief executive officer of Crone Consulting. “Same for retailers.” Here’s the current state of play.
Apple’s system experienced some growing pains in 2015 but has a loyal fan base, counting Whole Foods among its users. The biggest thing holding it back is that it doesn’t work with iPhones older than the 6.
Walmart says it’ll be able to process payments through its bargain-hunter app in all U.S. stores by this summer. Millions of Walmart shoppers already use it monthly to compare prices and clip digital coupons.
Unlike Apple’s or Google’s, Samsung’s payment service, introduced in the U.S. in September, works with a fairly wide range of in-store hardware. Consumers need a newer Galaxy smartphone, though.
While JPMorgan Chase supports Apple’s and Samsung’s mobile wallets, the bank is shooting for a mid-2016 relaunch of its own app, adding the ability to handle retail transactions. Chase says it’ll preload card data for about 100 million accounts.
Google’s new payment service, launched in September, improves on its earlier mobile wallet. Google says millions of people have signed up for Android Pay, developed after the company acquired mobile-payment rival Softcard.
Merchant Customer Exchange, a group founded in August 2012 by Walmart, Target, and other stores, is testing CurrentC with about 200 merchants in Columbus, Ohio. “There will be more than one successful player,” says CEO Brian Mooney.
The former EBay subsidiary is working on a contact-free in-store payment feature that will pit its app more directly against the rest of the field later this year. For now, users need to find other ways to use the service at partner stores such as Macy’s and Home Depot.