Some­day soon you’ll be telling your kids about those quaint old days when ev­ery­one car­ried a wal­let

Bloomberg Businessweek (Europe) - - CONTENTS - −Olga Kharif

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 Pay

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 Pay

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.

Sam­sung Pay

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.

Chase Pay

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.

An­droid Pay

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.

MCX Cur­rentC

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.

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