In early 2013, Microsoft told XP users: "If your organization has not started the migration to a modern desktop, you are late." More than a year later, the tone has shifted from bold declarations to nagging reminders.
MasterCard announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with Syniverse, a mobile technology company, to develop an opt-in pilot which allows users to make a credit card transaction only when they have their mobile device in the same geographic location. In essence, if the phone is near the place where the card is used, then the transaction is approved.
Devices that support biometric payments are on the rise — Apple's iOS and now Samsung's Galaxy S5 promise to read finger prints — but ubiquitous acceptance could be a long ways off.
Bitcoin's future is in doubt. On Tuesday, bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox disappeared and took roughly $300 million in alternative currency with it. Mt. Gox is the world's largest bitcoin exchange and its closure triggered a massive sell-off on the remaining exchanges. The future of bitcoin is now in doubt when, just last week, the currency was beginning to get more widespread acceptance among mainstream retailers.
The recent payment breaches highlight the need for the U.S. to move more quickly to EMV chip payment cards and PINs, speakers at the 2014 Smart Card Alliance Payments Summit said last week. A Walmart executive said the retailer has been very proactive in its EMV chip implementation and has EMV chip-enabled terminals in all of its U.S. stores. 118 of its stores are ready to accept chip transactions. John Drechny of Walmart advocated for the "the elimination of signature as a cardholder verification method."
Square announced its partnership with Whole Foods Market with much fanfare earlier this week. As the mobile payments tech provider should. While Square is used primarily by independent retailers and restaurants, this is Square's first deal with a major national grocery chain. And it signifies consumers' growing acceptance of mobile payments. In the not-too-distant future, major brick-and-mortar chains that don't offer fast, easy payment systems like Square will be the anomaly. Grocery chains are the perfect market for this payment tool. Long lines at grocery stores are one of shoppers' biggest complaints, and are the reason many chains added self-checkout lanes. Then, after consumer backlash over the lack of human cashiers, some grocers did away with those lanes. Square offers a much better option.
Amazon.com plans to introduce an in-store POS system using Kindle tablets. It's a genius move for the online retailer, but a terrible one for brick and mortar folks.
Shoppers could soon be able to pay via a proprietary payment system on Apple devices as the company builds an internal team to address payments.
Retailers are facing tough questions and an uphill battle in the fight to lower debit card transaction fees.
While desktop computer purchases accounted for the majority of e-commerce purchases this holiday season, the growth of m-commerce during the season was undeniable. In fact, annual m-commerce sales are expected to reach $707 billion by 2018, representing 30 percent of all e-commerce, according to a new report. The projected growth of the market is not surprising to those of us following m-commerce's developments in the past year alone.