O'Grady's PowerPage » Finance

MCX responds to Apple Pay blocking controversy with questionable responses to issues at hand

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 11:46
Category: Finance, iOS, iPhone, News, security, Software

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The most recent shot in the NFC payment wars has been fired.

And it kind of made MCX look like a bunch of jerks.

Per 9to5Mac, MCX, the retailer consortium behind the CurrentC mobile payment system, has responded to the controversy over its members being required to block Apple Pay or face fines with some unconvincing ‘assurances.’

The first sign of trouble between MCX and Apple Pay was when CVS disabled NFC functionality from its payment terminals. When Rite Aid joined in, consumers responded by threatening to boycott MCX members.

In a blog post which MCX says is designed to “set the record straight,” as it were, MCX responded to some of the recent concerns levied against it.

Responding to the fines issue, the company offered the following comment:

Importantly, if a merchant decides to stop working with MCX, there are no fines.

Nobody has suggested there are. What has been suggested–and which MCX has not denied–is that members are fined if they accept other forms of mobile payment, like Apple Pay, alongside CurrentC.

The consortium gets off to a marginally better start on privacy, with a statement that consumers “can choose to limit the information they share through our privacy dashboard, which means they will have the ability turn off location based services and opt out of marketing communications in our app.” However, that does nothing to limit the storage of other sensitive information, nor to address claims that merchants will share purchasing data amongst themselves.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook cites over one million Apple Pay subscriptions in first 72 hours

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 28th, 2014, 15:48
Category: Finance, iOS, iPhone, News

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Apple may have gotten a pretty quick leg up in the NFC market.

Per AppleInsider and the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a recent interview today, stated that Apple Pay received more than one million registrations within the first 72 hours.

“The early ramp [of Apple Pay] looks fantastic,” Cook said in an interview with WSJ managing editor Gerry Baker.

Cook referred to recent revelations that Merchant Consumer Exchange retailers like Rite Aid and CVS are now blocking Apple Pay, characterizing the situation as a “skirmish” that will ultimately be decided by consumers “over the long arc of time.”

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CVS, Rite Aid refusing to accept Apple Pay system, lend support to current CurrentC payment system

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014, 16:32
Category: Finance, iOS, iPhone, Software

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Call it a trade blockade of sorts, but you might not be able to use Apple Pay to purchase items at CVS or Rite Aid for a while.

Per the New York Times and 9to5Mac, Rite Aid has joined CVS in disabling Apple Pay as a payment method in its stores. Like CVS, Rite Aid is a member of the Merchant Customer eXchange (MCX) consortium promoting a rival mobile payment service, CurrentC.

Consumers are responding by threatening to boycott stores which disable Apple Pay, with more than 2,000 comments across several Reddit threads on the topic. Android users are joining in, as disabling NFC also blocks alternative mobile payment services offered by higher-end Android handsets.

As with CVS, Apple Pay initially worked in Rite Aid stores, indicating that the company has made a deliberate decision to switch off support.

While Apple has declined to comment, MasterCard said that it was the wrong decision.

“We think consumers should have the ability to pay any way they want,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard.

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Visa, Mastercard publish list of financial institutions that will support Apple Pay in the coming weeks and months

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 24th, 2014, 07:01
Category: Finance, iPhone, iPod, News

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In as much as I grouse about Visa and MasterCard (also known as the “Dark Sith Overlords of Ever-Climbing, Interest Monster Debt”), this might come in handy. Per 9to5Mac, Visa and MasterCard have published a list of banks and financial institutions that will support Apple Pay in the United States “in the coming weeks,” while MasterCard has its own list of supported banks arriving in the coming months. The mobile payments service officially launched on Monday, October 20th and currently supports cards issued by Bank of America, Capital One, Citi Bank, Chase and Wells Fargo Bank. A full list of banks coming soon from Visa and Mastercard below:

Visa:
1st Colonial Community Bank
1st Community Federal Credit Union
A+ Federal Credit Union
Actors Federal Credit Union
Advantage Federal Credit Union
Advantage One Federal Credit Union
Affinity Federal Credit Union
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union
ALPS Federal Credit Union
Alternatives Federal Credit Union
Altra Federal Credit Union
Amarillo National Bank
Amegy Bank National Association
America First Credit Union
American Airlines Federal Credit Union
American Chartered Bank
American Heritage Bank
American Savings Bank
America’s Christian Credit Union
America’s Credit Union
AmeriCU Credit Union
Andrews Federal Credit Union
APCO Employees Credit Union
Arlington Community Federal Credit Union
Artisans Bank
Arvest Bank
Auburn Bank
Avidbank

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Bank of America confirms double charges under Apple Pay, says fix is underway

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014, 13:21
Category: Finance, News, Software

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You can call it an Apple Pay startup glitch or an evil conspiracy, both statements would have merit.

Per Re/code and 9to5Mac, some Bank of America account holders are now reporting that the new service is charging them twice for some transactions. It’s also been confirmed that Bank of America is in fact experiencing a technical error that is causing the double charges and is currently attempting to roll out a solution that will resolve the problem.

The glitch was apparently the result of a miscommunication between the bank’s systems and an unnamed payment network and wasn’t Apple’s fault according to the report. The bank said that only about 1,000 transactions were affected by the problem, which is a relatively minute number compared to the number of transactions likely being carried out nationwide today.

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Apple replies to negative commentary over iPad sales, states that market “isn’t saturated”

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 11:09
Category: Finance, iPad, News

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Apple posted great numbers across the board in yesterday’s fourth quarter financial statement, but there may be concerns about the iPad’s growth.

Per AppleInsider, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook explained why he remains “very bullish” about iPads de spite the tablet’s sales not maintaining the growth rates of iPhones or Macs in every region.

In the September quarter, Apple sold 12.3M iPads, versus 14.1M in the year ago quarter. While lower than last year, iPad sales were slightly above Wall Street’s expectations. Apple continues to sell more iPads each month than the combined tablet sales of the rest of the top five tablet vendors, globally: Samsung, Asus, Lenovo and Acer

Addressing iPad sales in response to an analyst’s question, Cook stated, “I know that there’s a lot of negative commentary in the market but I have a little different perspective on it.

“Instead of looking at it every 90 days, if you back up and look at it, we’ve sold 237 million in just over four years. That’s about twice the number of iPhones we sold in the first four years.

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Apple posts Q4 2014 results, reports profit of $8.5 billion

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 20th, 2014, 19:00
Category: Finance, News

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Apple’s fourth quarter revenues came in today and they’re everything investors could have asked for The Company posted quarterly revenue of US$42.1 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.5 billion. These results compare to revenue of $37.5 billion and net profit of $7.5 billion, or $1.18 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of US$.47 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on November 13, 2014, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 10, 2014.

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Apple to release iOS 8.1, launch Apple Pay today

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 20th, 2014, 11:55
Category: Finance, iOS, News, Software

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It’s October 20th.

It’s also the day iOS 8.1 is released to millions upon millions of iOS device users.

Per The Mac Observer, Apple will be releasing iOS 8.1 later today. The update, which could be fairly large and take some time to download using an over-the-air update or iTunes, will also include the much-anticipated Apple Pay feature, which can be used as a payment option both in brick and mortar stores and using apps or within websites.

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Banks sign off on upcoming Apple Pay payment system, approve of token-centered security protocols

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 10th, 2014, 19:12
Category: Finance, News, Software

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For what it’s worth, the banks seem to feel good about Apple’s upcoming Apple Pay system.

Per MacRumors and The Daily Dot, Apple Pay, which will be centered around tokens, or unique Device Account Numbers, to replace card numbers and transactions are verified through both one-time use security codes and Touch ID, has gotten the nod from several large banks.

The Daily Dot has spoken to several different banks working with Apple on the payments service, including Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA, Chase, and PNC, to get their thoughts on its security.

According to Navy Federal VP of credit cards Randy Hopper, the bank was “very excited” to see what Apple had developed, because it is “convenient, secure, and private.” Apple’s use of tokenization “addresses all points of weakness across the payment system.”

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U.S. banks enter horse race to become preferred Apple Pay card of choice among consumers

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 16th, 2014, 12:26
Category: Finance, iPhone, News

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With Apple Pay en route, an assortment of banks are scrambling to be the consumers’ choice as to the default Apple Pay card.

“It’s a healthy competition,” JPMorgan Chase marketing chief Kristin Lemkau told the Financial Times. JPMorgan Chase launched Apple Pay-centered marketing campaigns on the same day as the service’s unveiling, and similar campaigns from Apple’s other partner banks quickly followed.

One example, according to AppleInsider and the Financial Times, has been Capital One targeting customers using email blasts. With every bank having budgeted significant amounts for this purpose, advertising is likely to appear nearly everywhere — though Apple is said to be doling out “strict guidelines” for initiatives featuring its long-awaited payments entry.

“You want to create an incentive for people to download their card in Apple Pay and use it as their default card,” Lemkau added.

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