This Month in Payments News: June 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 June 2015. Follow along!  

Mobile Payment Additions and Announcements

Between Google’s Android Pay news in June and Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in May, it comes as little surprise that the mobile payments world is heating up even more. Here’s the mobile news you need to know from June:

  • Apple Pay Upgrades: The company shared plenty of news at its developer conference in early June. On the Apple Pay front, announcements came in the form of a shift in name from “Passbook” to “Wallet” and the ability to accept cards from retailers like BJ’s Wholesale Club, Kohl’s and JC Penney’s once iOS 9 is live. Users of Apple’s watches and phones will also be able to add rewards cards from the likes of Dunkin Donuts, Wegmans and other popular stores.
  • Samsung Pay: While the company originally planned to release its mobile payments service this summer, it looks like we’ll have to wait until September. When Samsung Pay does hit, it’ll be available on Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones and compatible with mag-stripe card terminals in addition to using NFC—a feature that could give Samsung an advantage over Apple and Android.
  • PureWrist: One company is making paying with your wrist possible for those who don’t own a smartwatch. Users can subscribe to the service ($4.99 per month) to use the company’s special wristband, equipped with a chip inside that’s powered by a pre-paid MasterCard. PureWrist will be available starting in September. 

Security Conversations and Concerns Continue

With just three months until the EMV liability shift, the conversation around payment security isn’t slowing down. Here’s what happened this month:

  • Eataly NYC Data Breach: Proving that big-box retailers aren’t the only ones susceptible to data breaches, Eataly’s Retail Marketplace in New York City issued a statement that malware was installed on its systems and could have affected cards used from mid-January to the beginning of April.
  • Matchlight: Speaking of data breaches, one company is trying to reduce the amount of time it takes to discover stolen data. Matchlight does this via a tool created by Terbium Labs that searches through the dark web looking for black market data. The hope is that detection time will be cut dramatically as a result. While there are obvious security hesitations that come with this process, Terbium Labs says that they won’t have a way to identify the specific data found.


Retail Tech Trends

There’s no denying retail technology has dramatically changed the way we shop—both online and offline. Here are the tech stories the industry was talking about in June:

  • MasterPass Digital Wallet: MasterCard’s platform for storing reward cards, credit cards and shipping information has been growing in popularity. Shoppers already had the ability to select “Buy with MasterPass” online to pay with pre-loaded information at retailers like GILT, J.Crew and Bass Pro Shops. In June, the company announced that home design company Wayfair’s five sites would be the latest to join MasterPass—proof that streamlining the shopping process is an effective way to keep customers spending.
  • Walmart: The retail giant has been upping the digital ante recently. Walmart already announced an online ordering platform with expedited free shipping (similar to Amazon Prime). In June, the company’s CEO Doug McMillon told attendees of Walmart’s yearly shareholder meeting plans to expand its omni-channel strategy even further. He emphasized the need to improve technology at every level—from upgrading internal tools to improving the brick and mortar and online customer shopping experience. Time will tell what specific changes Walmart has in store.