Facebook Unveils Peer-to-Peer Payments on Messenger App

Facebook is adding a new feature that allows its users to send each other money through Facebook messages. Users link their debit cards in order to send their friends money. Unlike PayPal or Venmo, users do not have to “cash out” the funds. The payments transfer directly between debit cards. The new service, which is free to Facebook Messenger users, will roll out in the U.S. in the next few months. It will show up in the Messenger app as a dollar sign, next to the icons for text, photos and thumbs up. Continue reading Facebook Unveils Peer-to-Peer Payments on Messenger App

Amazon Expands its Offerings with Takeout & Delivery Service

Amazon is taking on the likes of DeliveryHero, GrubHub and Seamless with its new Takeout & Delivery, the latest service available to those in search of a convenient way to order food from local restaurants. A live version of the service recently launched in Seattle and other cities are expected to be added soon. Amazon’s Takeout & Delivery allows users to charge food orders to their existing Amazon accounts. It follows the success of Amazon’s door-to-door grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh. Continue reading Amazon Expands its Offerings with Takeout & Delivery Service

Starbucks Order & Pay Service Links Mobile to In-Store Retail

Starbucks is introducing a new app for iPhones that allows customers to order and pay without having to visit the checkout counter. The beta service launched this week in Portland, Oregon. Starbucks plans to follow up by launching “Mobile Order & Pay” city-by-city throughout 2015, and introducing an Android version. The massive reach of a company like Starbucks places it in a position to successfully link mobile devices to in-store retail, an issue Silicon Valley has been trying to address for years. Continue reading Starbucks Order & Pay Service Links Mobile to In-Store Retail

Snapchat Partners with Square to Offer New Payment Feature

Snapchat users will now have the ability to send and receive money from friends using a new payment feature called Snapcash. The feature is the latest upgrade to a mobile app that originally began with simple photo-sharing capabilities. To make payments possible, Snapchat partnered with Square, a payments company that recently launched a similar feature to work for email and its own mobile app. Snapcash is available for Android users, with an iOS release coming soon.  Continue reading Snapchat Partners with Square to Offer New Payment Feature

Google Chromecast Now Most Popular Connected Device App

According to app analytics firm App Annie, Google’s $35 Chromecast dongle is now the most popular connected device in the U.S. Based on analysis of the top apps associated with connected devices across iTunes and Google Play, the Chromecast app experienced the most downloads, followed by Fitbit, DirecTV, HP ePrint, Kodak Kiosk Connect, Square Register, GoPro, AT&T U-verse, DISH Anywhere, and HP All In One Printer Remote. Gartner predicts 26 billion connected devices globally by 2020. Continue reading Google Chromecast Now Most Popular Connected Device App

Facebook’s TODO Project Aims to Steer Open Source Software

Facebook has launched the TODO project (“Talk Openly, Develop Openly”) to help streamline the process of executing open source software projects, a major concern in a new era of cloud and mobile computing. Since Monday’s announcement, more than 30 companies have joined the initiative including Google, GitHub, Dropbox and Twitter. The TODO project plans to streamline the process of releasing and updating software, as well as develop a common set of tools for these programs. Continue reading Facebook’s TODO Project Aims to Steer Open Source Software

Apple Announces Two New iPhones, Smartwatch and Apple Pay

Apple unveiled its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at a press event in Cupertino yesterday. The next-gen smartphones feature higher resolution displays, improved camera capabilities, and a glass that curves around the sides. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen, the largest so far for an Apple phone. The company also introduced the long-awaited Apple Watch, its first major new product since the iPad in 2010. The $349 smartwatch will work with iPhone 5 models and the new iPhones. Continue reading Apple Announces Two New iPhones, Smartwatch and Apple Pay

Mobile Payments: Amazon Debuts New Credit Card Reader

Amazon Local Register, the company’s new card reader, is a black rectangular device that plugs into a merchant’s smartphone or tablet. For $10, it works with an app that tracks business transactions for merchants. Amazon offers lower processing fees with the device if a merchant signs up before the end of October, while the standard deal will remain a 2.5 percent charge, which is less than other card reader offers. The lower charge means that Amazon is likely making little profit. Continue reading Mobile Payments: Amazon Debuts New Credit Card Reader

Study: Younger Consumers Interested in Branchless Banking

A new study from Accenture found that as our finances move to new digital platforms, younger generations place more trust in Internet and retail brands than they do with traditional banks. The study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 would consider doing their banking entirely online while also getting their financial services from non-traditional providers. Topping the list, 46 percent of respondents in this age group said they would be likely to bank with PayPal. Continue reading Study: Younger Consumers Interested in Branchless Banking

After a Lukewarm Response, Square Pulls the Plug on Wallet

Although Wallet seemed to have tremendous potential as the next big thing, Square recently pulled the app from mobile app stores after receiving a lukewarm response from consumers and retailers. Square Wallet, created by Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey, offered a radical new way of performing an everyday task by making payments through a mobile app easier. Dorsey’s vision was to reinvent in-person payments for the mobile era, but the public did not seem to respond well. Continue reading After a Lukewarm Response, Square Pulls the Plug on Wallet

Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Square has announced a new partnership with Whole Foods, that will bring its payment technology to the upscale grocery store. Whole Foods will use iPads mounted in the Square Stand holder at the specialty food and beverage counters that line the stores’ walls. Customers will have the option to pay for their orders by card, or with payment credentials saved in the Square Wallet app on their smartphones. This is Square’s biggest deal since its partnership with Starbucks in 2012. Continue reading Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Amazon to Introduce Kindle Checkout System for Retail Stores

Amazon plans to offer brick-and-mortar retailers a new checkout system using its Kindle tablets, expected to be available as early as this summer. The development stems from Amazon’s acquisition last year of certain tech and engineers from GoPago, a startup known for its cloud-based mobile payment platform. The move could provide Amazon with a significant growth opportunity. However, it also faces numerous competitors in the checkout system space.  Continue reading Amazon to Introduce Kindle Checkout System for Retail Stores

Apple Could Make Shopping Easier with Mobile Payments Service

Apple is reportedly looking into ways to expand into a mobile-payments service that would go beyond the iTunes store. Down the line, it might compete directly with the likes of Google, eBay’s PayPal and Square, which have become ubiquitous in mobile payment processing for physical goods and services. For Apple, that would likely mean consumers would be able to use their iPhones or iPads to make in-store and online purchases with greater ease. Continue reading Apple Could Make Shopping Easier with Mobile Payments Service

Square Market Can Now Make Every Business an Online Store

Square, the credit card reader and processor for mobile devices, recently introduced its own online marketplace, Square Market. This move is an expansion of its mobile payment services and a challenge to other online marketplaces, such as Etsy, Amazon and eBay. Square Market is the latest shopping system to support social selling. Its minimal approach allows social media platforms to become an online storefront for any business. Continue reading Square Market Can Now Make Every Business an Online Store

PayPal Will Process $3 Billion in Mobile Payments for 2011

  • PayPal’s new 2011 estimate for mobile payment processing of $3 billion is twice what the company estimated last year.
  • The $3 billion is divided into two categories: 1) individuals using Paypal’s mobile app to transfer money to each other, and 2) people completing purchases on mobile online commerce sites.
  • The PayPal online payments service (owned by eBay) has 8 million users and is processing up to $10 million/day in mobile total payment volume.
  • PayPal’s competitors include Google Wallet, Square and credit card companies.