Samsung May Partner With LoopPay to Launch Apple Pay Competitor

If the store at which you are trying to buy that stick of gum has an NFC terminal, Apple Pay and Google Wallet work well enough. But if it lacks one, or is part of a competing consortium, you will have to whip out the antiquated plastic between the lint in your pocket. But that may change if Samsung has its way. According to multiple Recode sources, the Korean electronics giant is in talks with startup LoopPay, to develop a smartphone payments method of its own.  (more…)

Retailers in US Block Apple Pay, Which Also Blocks Google Wallet

Over the weekend, news broke that many retailers across the US were not supporting Apple Pay, shutting down their wireless payment terminals to anyone looking to use them. Unfortunately, and apparently unknown by many, this move by retailers does not just hurt Apple Pay users, but also effects Google Wallet users as well.

While the number of Google Wallet users may not compete with the amount of people who plan to jump on the Apple Pay train, Wallet users have not been met with many issues surrounding the service until Apple announced and released their own NFC-based payment system. Now with Apple Pay released, it appears that huge retail chains, such as 7-Eleven, Walmart, and Best Buy will soon launch their very own mobile payment app, meaning that they now have motivation to simply shut out all competitors from their stores.
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Video: Android 5.0 Feature – Setting Up Trusted Devices

Motorola has been doing this really cool thing for a couple of years now called Trusted Devices. The idea behind a trusted device is pretty simple (our tutorial on the Moto X) – when you have select Bluetooth devices paired to your phone, you can tell your phone to let you bypass a secure lock screen without having to enter a PIN, password, or pattern. It could be a watch that you wear with your phone all day, so that your phone remains mostly unlocked when with you. Or it could be your car, for example, which would allow you to skip by your lock screen security to make for easier (and safer) access while on the go. But, if you were to disconnect from those trusted devices (lose your phone at a bar), your phone would then revert back to being fully locked by that pattern, PIN, or password to protect your information. Make sense?

Google added Trusted Devices to Android 5.0 “Lollipop.” This is awesome news because it should mean that in the future, all Android phones running Android 5.0 or higher will have access to this super convenient feature.  (more…)

Plastc Tries to Convince You Why Credit Cards are Still a Good Idea

Apple and Google may be betting on NFC as the future of consolidated payment, but ubiquity  is far from guaranteed; many, many businesses need to upgrade their point-of-sale terminals, which could take years. That is why startups like Coin have looked to capitalize on the nascent wallet-slimming trend with stop gap solutions that have been, more often than not, more trouble than they were worth.

Plastc is the newest kid on the block, and its feature list almost reads like a blow-by-blow response to Coin’s many shortcomings. It contains an e-ink touchscreen which toggles automatically via a brightness sensor  and is capable of displaying your signature, photo ID,  and barcodes; it has a re-writable NFC/RFID chip for use with access systems; it supports chip and pin (EMV) terminals; and it has wireless charging mat. (more…)

Android L Features: Android Beam Now a Part of Share Menu

In Android L, Google has included Android Beam in the sharing menu, making it arguably easier to share items using NFC.

When you go to share an item now in the L version of Android, you will see an icon for Android Beam, along with your icons for Drive or Box or Dropbox or any other app capable of sharing. Once Android Beam has been tapped, your device will tell you to “Tap another device to complete,” which then sends the item as soon as the second device is touched.  (more…)

Monday Poll: Do You Use NFC on Your Smartphone?

When first announced for Android devices, NFC was a pretty exciting feature. It allowed for tap-to-pay services to launch in stores, it brought Android Beam into existence, and allowed other devices to quickly connect to Android phones and tablets via Bluetooth with no user input needed. Times were good.

Now, in mid-2014, we find ourselves using NFC less and less. Services like Google Wallet and Isis haven’t been taking off like expected, and we find that the convenience of NFC isn’t actually worth having the feature enabled on our phones. Sure, it has its time and place, but for the most part, NFC is still kind of useless to most users.

Our question to you is, are you using NFC these days? Back in February of last year, we asked this same question, with the results not showing much love for NFC. 53% of people who answered said they did not use NFC, 33% said yes, and 14% of poll responders didn’t even have a phone with NFC built in.

It’s time to update our results. Share your experiences with NFC in the comments below, and tell us if you think there is something that could make NFC better or more desirable.

Do you use NFC on your smartphone?

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Dimple is a 4-button NFC Sticker That Needs Your Funding

NFC stickers, boy were those an item that never really caught on. Samsung tried them. Others too. Just don’t tell that to the folks behind the latest crowd funding campaign called Dimple, an NFC-focused project that is already 65% funded after launching yesterday.

Dimple is an NFC sticker with four physical buttons that can be attached to your NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet. Those four buttons, can be customized to do a variety of tasks, like turn on WiFi, open the camera, enable a flashlight, launch your favorite app, or even enable a Tasker task. The basics here suggest that you are looking at a multi-button NFC sticker that can do multiple tasks. But there is more. (more…)

ISIS Mobile Wallet Opens Support for Wells Fargo Credit Card Users

Isis Mobile Wallet users can now add Wells Fargo credit cards to the NFC-powered payment application, which has been growing steadily in support for various card providers. The last card to receive support was the American Express Serve card, which took place just last month. The service is still unavailable to Visa users and other banks, but with the addition of Wells Fargo, this is certainly a step in the right direction.

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