The Payments News You Need: September 2015

It’s time to round up the biggest stories in the payments industry—the top scoops and developing trends that stand to change this space and herald innovation. In this edition, we’re covering September 2015. Let’s dive in! 

Mobile Payments

A Bright Future for Contactless Payments: With Apple Pay and Android Pay now officially in the mobile payments game, a report from Juniper Research has high hopes for their widespread adoption. The report states that 200 million mobile wallets will be in use by 2016’s close—a 100 percent increase in just two years.
Android Pay Makes Its Us Debut: The long-awaited way to pay gave shoppers another reason to tap their phones at the register this month. While many features of Android Pay are already available to users with NFC-equipped phones, features like loyalty and offers are expected to arrive later this year.
Barclaycard Gets NFC Mobile Payments: Instead of simply integrating with Apple Pay and Android Pay, Barclaycard entered the mobile market itself, announcing its acceptance of mobile payments, in addition to instant replacement of lost cards

PayPal Moves In-Store: Thanks to a partnership with Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, PayPal is heading to in-store and mobile. Shoppers will be able to use PayPal funds for mobile buying, or open up Macy’s or PayPal’s app in-store, then tap a unique QR code at the register.
MCX Member Best Buy Welcomes Apple Pay: Retailers that belong to MCX have made the news for their opposition to Apple Pay and quest to create their own mobile way to pay. One of those retailers is Best Buy, but now some stores have Apple Pay available at the register. Two other companies, Rite Aid and Kohl’s also said “yes” to Apple Pay, with the release date of MCX’s own solution not yet set in stone.

Loyalty and Rewards

Discover Offers Extra Apple Pay Incentives: Shoppers paying with their Discover Card now have even more reasons to tap to pay. Now through the remainder of 2015, Apple Pay users will be rewarded with 10 percent extra cash back or 10 percent travel rewards on purchases up to $10,000.
Chase Freedom’s Mobile App Serves Up Instant Rewards: This month, Chase gave cardholders another way to use their rewards: right at the register. Currently, there are 30 stores involved, including Lowe’s, Toys “R” Us and Gap, and shoppers have full control over the amount of rewards to put toward a given purchase in the form of a gift card. From there, any remaining balance can be covered by another payment type.

Multi-Brand Loyalty Programs Emerge: With mall traffic on the decline—despite success outside of the brick and mortar space—some stores are looking to less-limiting loyalty options to bring customers in the door. Two big players in multi-brand loyalty include Plenti by American Express and Shopkick. Now, some malls are getting in on the wider-reaching loyalty, too, with deals that can be earned and redeemed at any store.


L’Oreal Steps Up Its Digital Offerings: Speaking of multi-brand loyalty, L’Oreal rolled out a new points program that lets shoppers earn rewards through partner companies like Gilt and Spafinder Wellness 365. The program also involves a comprehensive social media strategy, serving up rewards for different actions across its channels.

Kohls Announces Same-Day Delivery and Other New Features: The retailer announced several new omnichannel efforts, among them are in-store inventory, deal searching, the ability to upload gift cards to its mobile wallet app and cross-device viewing of a logged-in shopper’s cart. The store also announced a pilot program for same-day shipping in certain locations. 


Six Out of 10 US Shoppers Don’t Have EMV Cards: With the October 1 liability shift upon us, a recent survey from ABI Research found that 59 percent of United States shoppers aren’t EMV-ready. Beyond this, a mere 32 percent know about the EMV shift and 67 percent haven’t gotten any word from their bank about the changes that will come with EMV.
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