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Google Teams Up With 3 Wireless Carriers To Combat Apple Pay 186

HughPickens.com writes AP reports that in an effort to undercut Apple's hit service Apple Pay, Google is teaming up with three wireless carriers by building its payment service into Android smartphones sold by AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA. Besides trying to make it more convenient to use Wallet, Google also is hoping to improve the nearly 4-year-old service. Toward that end, Google is buying some mobile payment technology and patents from Softcard, a 5-year-old venture owned by the wireless carriers. Financial terms weren't disclosed but Apple Pay's popularity probably helped forge the unlikely alliance between Google and the wireless carriers. Google traditionally has had a prickly relationship with the carriers, largely because it doesn't believe enough has been done to upgrade wireless networks and make them cheaper so more people can spend more time online.

The biggest challenge however is one that both Apple and Google face: Only a small fraction of the 10 million or so retail outlets in the U.S.–220,000 at last count–have checkout readers that can accept payments from either system. Both wallets use a radio technology called Near Field Communication to send payment, and it's expected to take years for most stores to be upgraded. What's at play? The big tech companies and carriers seem convinced that our phones will eventually replace our wallets. For carriers, that could make mobile wallet technology table stakes over the next few years as they compete for consumers.
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Google Teams Up With 3 Wireless Carriers To Combat Apple Pay

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  • american banks are finally waking the fuck up from all of the easy expensive hacks and finally giving americans european style smart chip cards:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/1014121... [cnbc.com]

    the chips in smart cards are the same thing as phone SIM cards:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

    so why can't banks team up with verizon/ att/ sprint/ etc (and do an end run around google/ apple/ samsung/ etc. plus mastercard/ visa/ etc.) and just give us phone = bankcard thataways?

    what am i missing?

    do i get my $30 million bonus now?

    t

    • It's all about the money.

      You're missing the fees that are collected by the organizations that facilitate the transaction. CC companies don't want to split the take they're already getting with someone else and retail organizations don't want to increase the percentage they have to pay for adding the cell phone company to the line of people with their hand out. So teaming up between phone companies and CC companies isn't going to happen. So Apple and now Google show up with a scheme to bypass the CC compa

      • Apple doesn't bypass the credit card companies - you're thinking of CurrentC (the joint system being developed by Walmart, CVS, etc.). That system exists solely to save merchants money. ApplePay uses the same credit card system (and your existing cards) to make payments.

        • by sl149q ( 1537343 )

          To be pedantic Apple Pay uses your credit card account to make your payment. It does not need to have your actual card once you have registered your account. I.e. you don't have to have your card to make a payment.

      • thank you. well explained

        the banks can't cut out the ccs, the ccs will punish them

        so the best power play is OS/ phone manufacturer and the phone companies cutting out the banks AND the ccs

        i get it

        but you know the ccs are working furiously with dirty tricks right now like purchased legislation to protect their revenue streams, i mean EHEM, "protect the consumer"

      • by zieroh ( 307208 )

        So Apple and now Google show up with a scheme to bypass the CC companies and divert the entire percentage to their accounts.

        Your starting premise is flat-out wrong. Everything that follows from it is therefore gibberish.

    • the only reason we don't have phone = bankcard technology is this power game pissing contest between all of the players here, correct?

      someone please explain to me what i am missing

      What you are missing is that there are many big powerful organizations that DO NOT WANT phone=bankcard. They want your phone to bypass the Visa/Mastercard duopoly, that adds ~3% to to everything you buy. The problem is that they haven't come up with a good alternative.

      • you're correct, they want an alternative stream

        but it's not altruistic, they just want to set up their own competing ~1% ~2% steal

      • by zieroh ( 307208 )

        They want your phone to bypass the Visa/Mastercard duopoly, that adds ~3% to to everything you buy. The problem is that they haven't come up with a good alternative.

        Who is "they"?

  • by srichard25 ( 221590 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @06:53PM (#49115641)

    "The biggest challenge however is one that both Apple and Google face: Only a small fraction of the 10 million or so retail outlets in the U.S.–220,000 at last count–have checkout readers that can accept payments from either system."

    That's not the biggest challenge. The biggest challenge is that it is no more convenient or reliable to pay a bill with my smartphone than it is with a credit card. My credit card doesn't run out of power. And I don't have to worry about it not getting a good connection inside a store. And I don't have to worry about pulling out a $500 phone and juggling it around every time I want to pay for something.

    By Oct 2015 most banks will be issuing smart credit cards that make it much harder to commit fraud. Some of them will come with NFC and support "tap to pay' just like a smartphone. But they will be much cheaper and much more reliable.

    Paying by smartphone is a solution in search of a problem.

    • Not sure about the Google and Android solutions, but you don't need a network or cell connection to use ApplePay - everything is handled by the chip in the phone. It offers other advantages as well, most specifically the use of a unique token that's NOT your credit card number, meaning it isn't vulnerable to the large store data breaches like we've seen in the last few years.

      Also, I dunno about you, but I always have my phone in my pocket, just has handy as my wallet, but with my wallet, I need to remove a

      • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday February 23, 2015 @07:39PM (#49115937) Homepage Journal

        Not sure about the Google and Android solutions, but you don't need a network or cell connection to use ApplePay

        Nor with Google Wallet.

        Also, I dunno about you, but I always have my phone in my pocket, just has handy as my wallet, but with my wallet, I need to remove a card, swipe it, and usually either sign or enter a code.

        My phone is actually handier than my wallet, because I use my wallet less and keep it in a less accessible pocket. Actually, most of the time while I'm in a checkout line my phone isn't in my pocket, it's in my hand.

        (Disclaimer: I work for Google and bits of my code support Google Wallet. However, I was a fan of NFC payment before joining Google, and whether it's Google, Apple or someone else I'm really glad to see it finally taking off.)

        • Ditto. My phone is handier than my wallet, and I can pull up Softcard, PIN in, and tap faster than you say 'oh, please....'. And you're gonna be fishing for another penny to save time with exact change.

          Disclaimer - I work for a Softcard partner, and am sort of sad to see it go to Google. But hopefully it will become the main competitor to Apple Pay, which is for us an interesting problem. All is not bliss in Apple Pay land.

      • Every clearinghouse in the country also supports the idea of a Token that is not your card number. That doesn't mean the vendors will, either on the current system or on the proposed system.
        Phone companies are not regulated as Credit Card companies, and until they are, they should not be allowed to facilitate these transactions. They are enjoying the benefit of processing these transactions without any of the added extra cost of enforcing consumer protection. Instead, if you say you didn't buy something, t
        • ApplePay is just the method of payment (akin to your physical credit card) - the system still uses the credit card network and uses a number that is passed from the device to the credit card company. The token is used in place of your credit card number during the transaction but Apple isn't "involved" in the payment itself.

      • The smart cards coming by Oct 2015 will also contain a chip that will provide a unique token for each transaction.

    • Google have been absolutely useless when it comes to marketing Wallet.

      It works great. It's been out there for years now.

      But have you ever seen an ad on TV for it? Have you seen ads online for it? Have you ever read an article about NFC payments that didn't talk almost exclusively about Apple Pay?

      Google seem to think that as long as they put the tech into phones people will just somehow discover it, go through the pain of setting it up without really understanding how it works or the benefits of it, and trus

      • It works great.

        For some phones. I have a rather old phone, but it wasn't the earliest phone to have NFC (that came a year earlier). Google Wallet doesn't work on it.

    • I always have my phone, I don't always have my wallet. Thats problem they solved.

      Tap and Pay cards are no more secure than Swipe and Sign cards, they are nearly as easy to clone too.

      Tap and Pay phones (at least with ApplePay) require me to actually verify it with something somewhat secure like a finger print or pin number on MY device, not one that someone else maintains and may be hacked to steal my PIN.

      ApplePay also doesn't require any communications at the time of transaction with the bank after the ini

    • That's not the biggest challenge. The biggest challenge is that it is no more convenient or reliable to pay a bill with my smartphone than it is with a credit card.

      That depends. You're right when talking about credit card, but when you have to carry 5+ different credit cards around then it all starts taking up pocket realestate. I would love to do away with my wallet entirely.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      Phone payments offer more privacy and security than cards. The retailer gets a one-time code and that's it, not your card number and PIN which can then be abused.

    • That's not the biggest challenge. The biggest challenge is that it is no more convenient or reliable to pay a bill with my smartphone than it is with a credit card. My credit card doesn't run out of power. And I don't have to worry about it not getting a good connection inside a store. And I don't have to worry about pulling out a $500 phone and juggling it around every time I want to pay for something.

      I actually did find Apple Pay useful once. I went for a quick run to the store with my girlfriend and didn't bring my wallet, but happened to have my phone. Had I brought my wallet, however, I would have just used my card. It was handy to have a backup plan.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      I think that they are missing the real market.
      I see it as a replacement for paypal/square.
      If I went to a small event and want a tee shirt I can see taping my phone to pay for the shirt. Or if I want to by a drill from a friend.

  • What black magic happens when I use my credit card? Damned if I know. Magic happens, money comes out of my account and I get stuff. I don't care what incantation is encoded in the stripe, which manufacturer made the card reading machine or what communications technology is behind the scenes. It doesn't matter, because the business taking my money wants my money and I want the stuff.

    Similarly, when I plug something into the wall I don't care who made the plug and the wires that provide the power. I don't eve

    • Everyone there is gunning to be the next Visa...taking a permanent 2% tax on every transaction. Sharp elbows and such are to be expected. I still don't see a need to make my charge card two orders of magnitude more complicated-the battery in my credit card never runs out. Maybe thats a bad thing... No one ever makes it cheaper. They want you to bank on line, but no one ever offers to rebate you the billing by dead tree expenses.... Do you accept....CASH ?
      • by zieroh ( 307208 )

        I still don't see a need to make my charge card two orders of magnitude more complicated

        You will the next time your credit card is compromised.

  • by onkelonkel ( 560274 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @08:08PM (#49116121)

    I was visiting the USA (California is nice this time of year) last week and I had to sign little pieces of paper with my name to buy things with my credit card. Apparently none of the stores and restaurants have chip and pin terminals. You can't prevent even the most basic fraud if any guy with a card reader can make a copy of your magstripe and clone your card. What's worse, in the restaurant they actually walked off with my card, instead of bringing a wireless terminal to my table for me to enter my PIN. You good people are about 5 years behind the times. WTF happened?

    • by zieroh ( 307208 ) on Monday February 23, 2015 @08:33PM (#49116273)

      I was visiting the USA (California is nice this time of year) last week and I had to sign little pieces of paper with my name to buy things with my credit card. Apparently none of the stores and restaurants have chip and pin terminals. You can't prevent even the most basic fraud if any guy with a card reader can make a copy of your magstripe and clone your card. What's worse, in the restaurant they actually walked off with my card, instead of bringing a wireless terminal to my table for me to enter my PIN.

      Yup.

      You good people are about 5 years behind the times. WTF happened?

      Welcome to America, where we like to pretend that we're exceptional while being largely behind the rest of the civilized world in almost every area. I think it's because of money in politics myself, but others will perhaps have other theories.

    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      And yet your card still worked, so it had a magstrip. And when I go back home to visit family (I'm canadian living in the US), my american cards work fine up there too. So someone could still clone your card, and use the copy. The only thing making it a little trickier is the fact you don't have to hand over the card, but there are ways around that (like a hacked up terminal). There are also vulnerabilities in the chip cards.

      What is really protecting you is that the bank will cover your ass if something hap

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        And yet your card still worked, so it had a magstrip. And when I go back home to visit family (I'm canadian living in the US), my american cards work fine up there too. So someone could still clone your card, and use the copy.

        Many retailers in the UK won't accept signatures any more, because it increases their liability for fraud. My banks tend to refuse signed for transactions anyway unless they are for fairly small amounts. In Japan where chip & pin isn't always the default option yet (it's probably 80% now), I sometimes have to ask to use my PIN instead of signing or it won't go through.

        Phone payments are even better. One time code, can't be cloned or re-used. Arbitrary length password or PIN.

    • You good people are about 5 years behind the times. WTF happened?

      Same thing that happens to all early adopters. Earlier technology becomes entrenched, and it's more difficult for newer, better technology to displace it because the old stuff "mostly works good enough." It's why the ratio of wireless to wired phones is higher in Africa than in Europe.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Because USA sucks. USA isn't #1 or the best anymore. :(

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Simple we got swipe terminals years before Europe. Chip and Pin is here now in the US. In fact I used it yesterday at a Jon Smiths Sub shop. Most people would not even notice it but I did.
      Also credit card fraud was not a big issue in the US until a few years ago. The US will be Chip and Pin by October.
      Now bringing the terminal to the table may take a while. Nicer restaurants will probably not want to do that since for some odd reason the taking of the check and bringing it back is a sign of a "quality" rest

  • Combat Apple Pay? To what end? Either you have an Android phone or an Apple phone. They aren't competition for each other, in fact, they can help each other out by increasing the userbase to a point where NFC payments are demanded by consumers at all locations.

    P.S. those who talk about speed being an issue, if you've ever used Apple Pay it is by far the fastest payment method (about 3-5 seconds tops.)

    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      Its a pretty big deal actually. If every time you go to the store, they accept Apple Pay but not Google Wallet, and you're into that kind of thing, eventually you're going to get annoyed and buy a damn iphone.

  • The biggest challenge however is one that both Apple and Google face: Only a small fraction of the 10 million or so retail outlets in the U.S.â"220,000 at last countâ"have checkout readers that can accept payments from either system.

    That is definitely true, but most credit card readers in the US that do not support EMV (aka Chip & Pin or Chip & Signature) have to be replaced if the merchant doesn't want to bear the liability for fraudulent transactions.

    The liability for compromised cards i

  • How about Google open their bloody service to countries which actually have NFC machines?

    I mean most of Europe and Australia have had the compatible infrastructure for years, and when jumping through loops (or should I say loopholes) you could actually get Google Wallet working with compatible Android handsets 3-4 years ago.

    Why is it that I am excited for Apple to finally release something here which should have been effortlessly working 4 years ago?

    Google's attempt at "combating" Apple Pay looks like a 3 y

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