The World Of Payments: Who’s doing what

A round-up of the latest news and developments in the payments space – A rival to Paypal appears in Germany; Samsung Pay gets big in America; smart card provider Kona launches something new; Apple takes a bite out of Australia and Canada.

Samsung Pay on the way
Samsung Pay on the way

Watch out Paypal. Several major German banks have launched Paydirekt, an online payments system, and it’s being trumpeted as a rival.

Paydireckt will be operational by the end of 2015. Online purchases can be made directly from bank accounts, and foreign consumers will also be able to use Paydirekt if they have a bank account with one of the participating banks or financial institutions.

Samsung Pay is getting very cosy with the US and expanding its reach. It already works with six big names: American Express, Bank of America, Citi, Mastercard, US Bank, and Visa.

Over the coming months, it will provide support for cards issued by a lot more banks… brace yourself, they are as follows: Associated Bank, Chase, Fifth Third Bank, Key Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, People’s United Bank, PNC Bank, Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Silicon Valley Bank, SunTrust, TD Bank, and Virginia Credit Union

Not one to relax, next year, Samsung Pay will work with Discover – the third largest credit card brand in the US.

Staying with the South Korean theme, smart card provider Kona has launched its own cloud-based payment platform.

It supports two kinds of payment methods: mobile HCE (host card emulation) card and the plastic card called Kona Pay. It also supports four types of ‘secure element form factors’: physical cards, wearable devices, uSIMs and HCE.

There are also reports that mobile payments service Apple Pay is finally coming to Australia… and Canada.

Three months ago, IBS Journal reported that Apple ran into a fight in Australia as it attempted to forge a way into the country’s payments industry, with four major banks aiming to block its progress.

CEO Tim Cook, Apple
CEO Tim Cook, Apple

Australia’s banks were understood to be reluctant to let Apple infiltrate a market which earns them around AU$2 billion ($1.4 billion) annually in interchange fees.

The computing giant is believed to earn around 15 cents for every $100 of transactions in the US and wanted to earn the same in Australia. The banks were unwilling to accept this rate as they pay roughly half the level of those paid in the US.

Back to the present, and things have changed.

News sites like Apple Insider and The Verge say that Apple is now expanding Apple Pay in two new countries, Australia and Canada, for owners of American Express cards.

CEO Tim Cook revealed the news during Apple’s fourth-quarter earnings call. He says the company wants to bring Apple Pay to more ‘key global markets’.

He’s not lying, there are also plans to bring Apple Pay to card owners in Spain, Hong Kong, and Singapore starting in 2016.

Author: Jason Williams

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