Apple Pay jumps into ecommerce

Not seeing much growth in mobile payment POS transactions, Apple Pay has opened up a new channel for its mobile wallet: ecommerce.

It’s part of a bigger strategy Apple’s been implementing since the middle of September. Already established at the POS, Apple is now working on tightening up its presence in browsers and mobile commerce. Apple Pay for websites was launched with the iOS 10 for iPhone and iPad release and into Safari with the recent OS Sierra update.

This allows iPhone, iPad and Mac users to quickly checkout at ecommerce websites by selecting Apple Pay, eliminating the need to create a new account or log in to a website, expediting the payment process. The new Mac Book Pro even has touch payment authorization and payments built into the Touch ID pad.

And today, Apple announced special holiday offers for Apple Pay users shopping online.


Mobile and ecommerce is way ahead of mobile payments on the adoption curve. Getting users familiar with Apple Pay in existing ecommerce behavior can pave the way for future mobile commerce and POS adoption.

It seems that the road to mobile payments runs through getting people comfortable with using wallets in mobile commerce. Google has made a similar move with Payments Autofill in Chrome, so it seems the mobile wallet war is moving online. At the same time, because it lacks a web browser, Samsung may be left to clean up its exploding phones.

4 charts about mobile payment growth, or the lack thereof

As companies pour cash into developing and advertising their mobile payment products, the future of mobile payments is still up for grabs. Currently, there are three mobile wallets emerging as industry leaders: Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. Although watching three technology giants battling it out for mobile payment supremacy may be intriguing, it’s important to keep everything in perspective and understand how far along we are in the mobile wallet lifecycle.

Here are four charts that tell the story of where mobile payments are today.

Mobile operating systems go hand-in-hand with market share, as Apple’s and Android’s mobile wallets can only grow to the limit of their respective users.


Android is far ahead of iOS in terms of market share, but it also has Samsung Pay competing on the same operating system. There are reports that Samsung is releasing an iOS app soon, and expect Apple to surely welcome them with open arms and make no attempts to restrict their app.

Now that OS market share has been broken down, we need to evaluate mobile payments transaction volumes from a few years ago and see if anything has changed since then.


According to this chart, mobile payments comprised only three percent of the worldwide credit and debit card transaction volume in 2013, totaling $207 billion. $200 billion is nothing to roll your eyes at, but it’s nowhere near ecommerce ($691 billion) or retail transaction volume ($5.9 trillion) of the same year.

The obvious knock on this data is that it’s from 2013, and mobile payments have only grown in the past few years. However, when looking at consumer behavior, the opposite may be true.


Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and unfortunately for Apple, Samsung, and Google, users chose to go with plastic and paper over mobile wallets. Only a small fraction of iPhone and Android users used their respective mobile payment wallets when shopping on Black Friday in 2015. Most interesting may be that both companies saw market shares that were lower than the three percent threshold shown in the 2013 study.

The issues regarding the growth of Apple, Samsung and Android Pay become more apparent when looking at how many users have ever used the mobile wallets featured on their phones.


According to 2015 data from Trustev, only 20.7 percent of iPhone users and only 14 percent of Android/Samsung users have ever used Apple, Android, or Samsung Pay. Of the users who have used these mobile wallets, a vast majority only use them once a week.

All the data tells us something we already know: Although mobile payments are growing, customers still prefer to use their credit cards over mobile wallets. Until the day that consumers behavior changes, mobile wallets will still be the little brother to cash and plastic.

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5 innovative IoT payment products

Ever dream of paying for a burger and fries using a fashionable glove instead of your wallet? Companies, including those without reputations as technology firms, are creating integrated payment devices that change the way we think of the Internet of Things. From purses to rings to refrigerators, customers are now presented with multiple creative products with payment capabilities. By dreaming up creative concepts and partnering with payment providers, companies are pushing the envelope of what you can use as an IoT payment device.

Here are 5 companies making innovative IoT devices with payment capabilities.


The NYC based startup specializes in smart jewelry, combining fashion with IoT technology. While wearing Ringly products, customers enjoy features like smartphone app alerts, calendar notifications, and step tracking for fitness monitoring. Users receive alerts via discrete lights and vibrations on their rings or bracelets. In 2015, Ringly inked a deal with MasterCard, bringing mobile payment capabilities to owners of their fashionable products.

“We created Ringly to keep women connected to the people, messages and notifications that are important to them,” said Christina Mercando d’Avignon, founder and CEO of Ringly.  “Through our partnership with MasterCard, Ringly will not only be able to keep people connected, but will provide another layer to how our customers can use their jewelry while on the go. Our mission is to make women’s lives more manageable through beautiful jewelry and discreet technology.”

Ringly is still testing the mobile payment integration, and plans to release the new capability in the near future.


The iconic fashion shop has shown it’s moved into the 21st century with a variety of IoT fashionable payment devices. Currently featuring 11 unique IoT products, customers can choose from various types of smart accessories with payment capabilities, including keychains, bracelets, and iPhone cases. The range of products, known as TOPSHOP x BPay, is powered by Barclay’s BPay, creating a new type of product for both the bank and fashion retailer.

“This is a really exciting partnership with TOPSHOP and marks the first time that our bPay chip is being incorporated into a product range from a major fashion retailer.” said Tami Hargreaves, Commercial Director, Digital Consumer Payments at Barclaycard. “The collaboration shows how the worlds of fashion and technology can combine to  create a stylish and easy new way for people to pay using contactless, for everyday things – be it a morning coffee, a new lipstick or a bus trip across town.”

TOPSHOP x BPay products are available online and in stores, and TOPSHOP has announced a soon-to-be released IoT integrated jacket.

Adam Selman

Pop star Rihanna’s go-to clothing designer is getting into IoT mobile payments, too. Designer Adam Selman recently agreed to a deal with MasterCard, integrating payment chips into a upcoming fashion line. Although Selman isn’t a tech expert, he’s known in the fashion industry as an innovator and risk taker, required traits to challenge integrating payment chips into high fashion clothing.

“Usually technology’s role in fashion is behind the scenes. What sets the MasterCard program apart is that it features the technology, while still remaining invisible, yet interactive and totally functional with the wearer.” said Selman. “It’s exciting to be part of a project that is creating something new and fresh. At the end of the day, that’s what fashion is all about.”

Customers will be able to purchase from multiple products designed by Selman featuring mobile payment capabilities, including a dress, sunglasses, gloves, and a clutch purse.


Moving away from wearable IoT payment devices, Samsung has created the most technologically advanced fridge available for retail purchase. Already established in IoT products, Samsung has released a smart fridge, known as the Family Hub. Users access the Family Hub smart features through a 21″ touchscreen that accompanies the fridge, and includes app integrations like music streaming through Pandora, recipe books through Allrecipies, and the ability to look into your fridge via cameras through Samsung’s View Inside. Notably for payments is the integration of MasterCard Groceries, allowing users to purchase groceries for delivery while standing in front of a smart fridge.

Samsung is no stranger to the mobile payments world. The company recently rolled out its Samsung Pay feature for smartphones. The integration of payments into a fridge is just one of the ways Samsung is gaining market share of mobile payments. The Family Hub is available now and costs around $6,000.

SAIC Motor

How can we not talk about the white whale of IoT mobile payments: the car? After detailing mobile payments in cars a little while back, the first internet car is about to debut. The China based SAIC Motor is releasing the Rowe RX5, with multiple online features including online navigation, communication, and music capabilities. SAIC also features YunOS, Alibaba’s 3rd party online payment solution.

The partnership with SAIC is another play by Alibaba to expand its financial services offering, ANT Financial, Alibaba’s affiliate that runs Alipay. Combined with the new AXA partnership, which will focus on distributing insurance policies through Alibaba’s online platforms, Alibaba’s showing its seriousness to expand its financial services capabilities. The RX5 is currently available for pre-order, with an intended release date of August 2016.

Photo credit: ETC-USC via Visual Hunt / CC BY

How Samsung Pay plans to compete in mobile payments

Samsung Pay strategy

It’s rare for a company with $268 billion in revenue to be viewed as an underdog.

Less than a year ago, Samsung purchased startup LoopPay, launching itself into the mobile payments market. Now pitted against industry giants Google and Apple, Samsung is harnessing its expertise in technologically advanced hardware to gain market share.

Betting on superior hardware to capture mobile wallets

Samsung has been creating a slew of advanced electronics for the past 70 years, producing superconductors, mobile phones, and other electronics since its inception. For its mobile wallet, Samsung developed new hardware called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and is hoping the new technology will give it a competitive edge over other digital wallets.

Most mobile payments are processed through a QR reading scanner or brushing a device across a NFC reader, forcing retailers to buy new hardware to accommodate mobile payments. With MST, most swiping credit card terminals are tricked into thinking there’s a credit card present, allowing Samsung Pay to work without the need for retailers to upgrade their systems.

Dan Tuckman, Project Manager for Samsung Pay, feels that Samsung’s hardware is the difference maker in the battle for marketshare. “The key difference is that Samsung’s own proprietary MST technology was designed to be compatible with the majority of existing and new payment terminals so it currently works at more places than any other mobile payment service,” said Tuckman through email correspondence.

By investing time and resources in hardware, Samsung hopes to see reap rewards over time. Tuckman explained, “We believe Samsung Pay, including the MST technology, is the start of what we hope will provide more strategic business options for Samsung down the road that will benefit as many consumers as possible.”

According to Samsung, their technology works with 90% of the top 250 retailers in the world, allowing Samsung to focus on perfecting its digital wallet instead of convincing retailers to upgrade their hardware.

Looking at the results

Data to evaluate Samsung Pay’s success is limited – the mobile wallet was launched in South Korea and the US in August and September of 2015, respectively. Results are promising, but not out of this world; in February of 2016, Samsung reported 5 million registered users and over $500M dollars processed. Samsung recently launched in Spain, Singapore, and Australia, and is looking to open in Brazil, Canada, and the U.K. by the end of ’16.

Other signs point to future success for Samsun Pay. The first step to getting users to use Samsung’s mobile wallet is getting a Samsung phone in their hands. Over the past year, Samsung has led the smartphone industry in sales, accounting for 22.5% of total smartphone sales. If Samsung can maintain or grow a high market share of smartphone sales and introduce customers to its digital wallet, the company has a chance at becoming a mobile payments leader.

Three faces of competition

Samsung Pay seems to have a solid game plan, but still has an uphill climb to reach the top of the mobile payments mountain.

There’s no doubt that Samsung has unique hardware, but tech advantages are usually short lived. Samsung’s MST technology allows users to purchase via an install base of credit card machines. But with new chip and pin units rolling out across the U.S. and already in Europe, that advantage will soon close.

In addition to competing with other digital wallets, Samsung Pay has to contend with retailers, too. Many top retailers are developing their own mobile payment apps, hoping to retain customers through exclusive benefits, rewards, and other personalized experiences. As retailers develop better mobile payment apps, digital wallets like Samsung Pay could have a tougher time gaining market share.

The two above problems pale in comparison to the biggest problem facing Samsung Pay: the credit card itself. Although a credit card isn’t a digital wallet, you could argue it’s the largest mobile payment device. According to the Nilson Report, U.S. credit card transaction volume was $4.7 trillion in 2015, dwarfing the $620 billion global mobile payments market. Until customers become more accustomed to taking out their phones instead of their wallets, mobile payments will continue to be the little brother to credit cards.

Early trends make the difference

Samsung Pay is positioned well, but it’s still unclear if and how fast mobile payments become the go-to form of payment. Regardless, the battle for digital wallet superiority may be determined soon, during the infancy of mobile payments. As the market grows, the dominant digital wallet may see itself growing exponentially. By developing customer loyalty, continuing market share dominance, and providing vendors with easy solutions to accept its mobile wallet, Samsung Pay has its eyes on the mobile payments prize.

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