by Ty Hardison

How to choose which mobile payments your business should accept

Accepting mobile payments requires an investment, but choosing the right platform can ensure that investment is returned quickly. NFC-enabled device offer some clear benefits for merchants already upgrading for EMV chip card acceptance. While expanding your offering to accept mobile payments may once have required a significant upfront investment to purchase the proper hardware, most EMV terminals also include an NFC reader built right in. With the right technology already on your countertop, there has never been a better time to start offering your customers the option to pay with their phone.  NFC-enabled mobile payment systems are among the most popular. Here are a few reasons an NFC-based system may be the best mobile payment strategy for your business to support:Popularity: Apple Pay currently boasts a user base of about 12 million consumers, with Android Pay accounting for another 5 million tap-to-pay … more

Payments emerge as major I/O theme for Google

Google is moving Android Pay beyond the NFC terminal. As Google dazzled developers at this year's I/O event, a theme emerged that hinted at the tech giant's vision for its role in the future of payments. Although it may not have released any new payment-specific hardware or software, nearly all of the offerings Google announced will in some way integrate with its Android Pay platform, bringing the digital payment method into a host of new realms. Whether your business can integrate with these tools right away or not, taking a look at how the world's largest company is innovating in the payment space could give you a glimpse into the norms of the future. Instant App Downloads As a retailer, you might offer your customers product info, coupons or promotions via a custom mobile app. However, that valuable information could … more

Apple announces payment innovations at WWDC

Once again, Apple has made it easier to pay with an iPhone. Every spring, Apple invites developers to its World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, where they can witness the iPhone company's latest software improvements and updates. Central to this year's conference was a motif we also saw on display at Google's I/O event earlier this year: the expansion of mobile payments. This comes as little surprise, as "mobile" seems to be implied in just about everything consumers do today. Reflecting this shift, the Cupertino, Calif. company unveiled two major updates that will change the way iPhone users make payments. "Pay with Apple Pay" For the first two years of its existence, Apple Pay has been used primarily for consumers checking out in a store equipped with an NFC-enabled terminal. As the … more

Bank of America's new cardless ATMs will work with your mobile wallet

Bank of America announced its contactless ATMs will accept mobile wallets as well as physical cards. Consumers eschewing their credit and debit cards in favor of mobile wallets can get further than ever these days, using their phones to make payments at millions of retailers and via countless mobile apps. That being said, certain transactions still require a physical card, meaning even the most tech-savvy consumers have to carry their real wallets with them anyway. With their cards in their pockets, consumers often revert to old habits despite having set up the mobile payment app on their smartphones. It seems that to truly accelerate mobile payment adoption, consumers are going to have to feel comfortable leaving their cards behind altogether. One of the biggest reasons consumers have to carry their cards with them is to access … more

Walmart sues Visa over chip card authentication

After you insert your card, how should you authenticate the payment?  When EMV cards first came to the U.S., many called them by their European moniker: "chip-and-PIN." However, when it came time to make their first transaction with the more secure cards, many consumers were surprised they didn't require a PIN at all. Rather, the U.S. rollout relied on signatures to authorize its EMV payments. Now, the nation's largest retailer is looking to bring PIN authentication back to EMV. Wal-Mart sued Visa in New York State Court for the right to choose how its customers authenticate their card payments, reported the Wall Street Journal. In its lawsuit, Wal-Mart claims the four-digit passcodes are better at preventing fraud than simple signatures, but Visa has not allowed the retailer to require its customers to authenticate their … more

CVS, Visa, MasterCard reach settlement over interchange fees

CVS was among a number of large merchants who determined the 2012 antitrust settlement did not go far enough. When Visa and MasterCard agreed to pay more than $7 billion to merchants claiming the financial institutions conspired to set interchange fees, several large merchants were notably absent from the proceedings. Now CVS, the leader of the so-called "CVS Plaintiffs" who opted out of the deal, has reached its own settlement with the card companies.According to Law360, a U.S. District Judge signed an order on March 29 effectively ending the pharmacy's suit, stating that CVS had "fully settled all of its claims" against Visa and MasterCard. The stipulation did not, however, disclose the terms of the deal, reports Law360."CVS was among those who decided the terms did not go far enough."This marks the most recent settlement in a case that has been more than four … more

Visa, MasterCard innovate for faster chip payments

Chip card transactions may be getting much faster. Visa and MasterCard have unveiled new technologies that will speed up chip card transactions at the point of sale. Hopefully, this could remove what has become a major sticking point for consumers who would rather leave the slower cards in their wallet.Quick Chip Visa's new technology, announced April 19, will cut wait times to just two seconds or less, the company says. That's considerably faster than the 10-15 seconds many spend waiting after inserting their current chip cards into the terminal. The technology, which Visa calls Quick Chip, is available to all payment processors, banks and merchants free-of-charge, and requires only a software update to support, according to the company. Plus, Visa says the new system will allow shoppers to dip their cards while their items are … more

Discover CEO: PIN offers 'higher level of security' than signature for EMV

Discover CEO David Nelms joins those who believe PINs are more effective than signatures for securing card payments. Nearly seven months since the EMV liability deadline pushed U.S. merchants to finally adopt EMV payments, the debate still rages about the best way for consumers to authenticate those transactions. Shoppers are currently asked to validate their chip-card payments with a signature, but many in the payments world have argued that the U.S. should embrace the chip-and-PIN method, which is used more frequently around the world.Now, another voice joins that chorus. David Nelms, chairman and CEO of Discover Financial Services, says PIN validation is the most sensible option for the future of U.S. credit card payments, according to reports from Payments Source.The reason the U.S. opted for signature validation over PIN is up for debate. Some claim they didn't want to confuse … more

Using mobile commerce tools to drive in-store purchasing

Proactively providing information to consumers using their phones when shopping can help drive engagement. When today's consumers have questions, they're never more than a few taps away from an answer. That simple fact has changed the way they resolve debates, search for recipes and shop, no matter where they might be. It's no surprise, then, to see customers standing in front of the shelves at your store with their phones in hand, reading reviews or watching videos of a product in use - even shopping in a brick-and-mortar store has become, to an extent, an online experience.  In fact, research from a 2013 Google study suggests that as many as 84 percent of mobile shoppers use their phones to help make decisions in a physical store. In the three years that have followed, one can only imagine those numbers have continued to climb along with the reliance on and … more

Merchants sue card companies over EMV liability shift

A group of retailers believe the October 1 EMV liability shift was implemented illegally.

Just over five months after merchants were required to start accepting EMV cards or the liability of fraudulent charges, retailers have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the nation's largest credit card companies and banks, claiming the liability shift was instituted illegally.

The lawsuit, initially reported by The Recorder, alleges that the financial institutions conspired to transfer the liability for fraudulent transactions from themselves to retailers, merely using the transition to EMV cards as a mask. What's more, the complaint states that the process to get chip-enabled systems has been marred by technical issues that made it difficult for many merchants to achieve EMV certification by the October 1 deadline.

"Merchants were not consulted about the change, were not … more