Apple making progress in forming alliance between Apple Pay and Alibab’s Alipay in Chinese marketplace

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Date: Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, 10:58
Category: Finance, News, retail

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While Apple may be spinning its wheels arguing with MCX and getting Apple Pay supported by assorted U.S. retailers stuck in their MCX/CurrentC contracts, it seems to be doing ok opening Apple Pay up in the Asian marketplace.

According to AppleInsider and the Wall Street Journal, after officials from both Apple and Alibaba publicly expressed interest in forging a possible mobile payment deal, Alibaba confirmed on Tuesday that it is currently in negotiations to bring Apple Pay to China.

A potential deal between Apple Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay would focus exclusively on the Chinese market, where Alibaba is the dominant online retailer, vice chairman Joseph Tsai told The Wall Street Journal. He said that while the company is “positive” about the ongoing talks, details must still be worked out before an agreement can be reached.

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Rumor: Walmart opting for CurrentC system over Apple Pay due to high credit card transaction fees

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Date: Monday, November 10th, 2014, 11:48
Category: retail, Rumor, Software

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This is where things could get a bit sticky.

In the current battle between Apple Pay and MCX’s CurrentC system, retailer Walmart has opted against supporting Apple Pay in its stores. A new report offers a big reason why: high credit card transaction fees.

According to 9to5 Mac and Re/code, a current report reveals that the fees merchants are required to pay banks when a credit card is swiped in their stores is too high. Meanwhile, MCX’s CurrentC has payment options that carry lower fees than credit card purchases.
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CurrentC exclusivity contract at MCX merchants to expire in matter of months

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Date: Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, 11:34
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, retail

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The conflict between MCX’s CurrentC and Apple Pay may be short lived, as an exclusivity agreement that has caused some merchants involved in the MCX consortium — notably drug store chain CVS — to abruptly pull support for NFC-based payment systems, including Apple Pay and Google Wallet, is set to expire in “months,” according to a new report.

Per Re/code, the consortium, which is made up of a number of major retailers including CVS, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart, instituted the exclusivity contract to provide “breathing room” for the development of the CurrentC ecosystem, said MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson. That contract is set to expire in “months, not years,” Dekkers added.

Confirmation of the exclusivity agreement comes one week after the arrangement was first uncovered, following reports that CVS had disabled NFC terminals in its stores to prevent customers’ use of Apple Pay.
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Rumor: Apple begins Apple Pay training for employees

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Date: Monday, October 13th, 2014, 12:07
Category: iOS, retail, Rumor, Software

With the launch of Apple Pay likely only days away, Apple has begun Apple Pay training programs for its own group of retail store employees and by working with retailers to prepare for the debut later this month. According to 9to5Mac, training materials, shared by a reliable source, for the Apple Pay launch at Apple retail stores have also detailed some new specifics regarding the Apple Pay setup and transaction processes both on customer iPhones and in Apple retail stores…

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As can be seen in the image above, Apple Pay can be set up via the Passbook application through both the initial iOS 8 setup process or in a new Settings.app tab called Passbook & Apple Pay. Some of these details were previously revealed by internal settings in the latest iOS 8.1 beta seed for developers.

Credit cards can be added to Passbook via an iTunes account or by using the iPhone’s camera to scan in details. Passbook will be able to store up to 8 credit/debit cards, according to the training materials.

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Rumor: PayPal excluded from Apple Pay service providers due to relationship with Samsung

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Date: Wednesday, October 1st, 2014, 11:27
Category: retail, Rumor, Uncategorized

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It’s inevitable: competition and past legal strife creates some awkward scenarios.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and BankInnovation, PayPal was conspicuously absent from Apple’s list of secured partnerships when Apple Pay was announced in September. Now comes word that PayPal was initially part of Apple’s vision of Apple Pay, but that negotiations fell apart due to Pay Pal’s relationship with Samsung.

Apple and PayPal started talking early on in Apple’s development of Apple Pay, as Apple was setting up partnerships with the card issuing banks and card networks. Since PayPal’s a payments industry leader, it would have been shortsighted for Apple to not reach out to PayPal.

But while these talks were going on, PayPal went ahead and partnered with Samsung on the Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner, a move that was reportedly forced onto PayPal by eBay CEO John Donahoe. PayPal’s now-former president David Marcus was purportedly categorically against the Samsung deal, knowing that it would jeopardize PayPal’s relationship with Apple. Donahoe won the day, however.

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Apple announces 10 million iPhone 6 handsets sold during launch weekend

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Date: Monday, September 22nd, 2014, 11:07
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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Another year, another broken record.

Per Macworld, Apple announced on Monday that it sold ten million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models combined after the first weekend of availability—a new record for launch weekend iPhone sales. It’s no surprise, after Apple announced last Monday that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders hit 4 million in the first 24 hours alone.

The latest iPhones became available on Friday, September 19th in 10 countries and territories worldwide.

Apple’s latest sales record beats the company’s 2013 iPhone launch weekend for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, which topped out at nine million devices.

However, the iPhone 5s and 5c were available in 11 regions worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK. For this year’s launch weekend, China was left off the initial launch list.

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iPhone 6 launches to enthusiastic crowds

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Date: Friday, September 19th, 2014, 12:04
Category: iPhone, News, Pictures, retail

At long last, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets are out.

Down at the Apple Store location on University Avenue in Palo Alto, the line attendees, led by Abdul Karim of Fremont, California, were more than ready. Karim, who had set up a lawn chair outside the Apple Store early Tuesday afternoon, appeared relaxed and ready the day before the iPhone 6 launch, spending time camping out in the line with his brother, Faz.

First in line attendee Abdul Karim at the Apple Store iPhone 6 launch in Palo Alto.

First in line attendee Abdul Karim at the Apple Store iPhone 6 launch in Palo Alto.

“We could have pre-ordered it, but it’s just time bonding with my brother, my cousin’s here with me too, so we’re having fun just camping out together,” said Karim. “Apple’s been fantastic. They’ve been telling us ‘if you need anything, water, umbrellas, whatever, just request it.’ Other than that, it’s Palo Alto, it’s a nice area, it’s fun.”

When asked what the most compelling feature of the iPhone 6 for him was, he commented as to the larger screen, its overall size and presence.

“The whole product just looks amazing,” said Karim.

The Palo Alto Apple Store location.

The Palo Alto Apple Store location.

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iPhone 6, 6 Plus online pre-orders slip slip to seven to ten days, no word on supply for line attendees

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Date: Monday, September 15th, 2014, 12:54
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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It comes down to supply and demand.

And apparently Apple didn’t have a large enough supply to meet pre-order demand.

Per The Mac Observer, Apple’s new iPhone 6 pre-orders have slipped from delivering on September 19th to a seven to ten day shipping delay. The delay means anyone who didn’t manage to pre-order their iPhone 6 before inventory ran out will have to wait about a week before seeing theirs, or stand in line this Friday morning at an Apple Store or one of the company’s retail partners.

The iPhone 6 is Apple’s new 4.7-inch smartphone. It ships with either 16GB, 64GB, or 128GB storage, an Apple-designed A8 processor, M8 motion sensing co-processor, improved graphics, 802.11ac WiFi, an 8MP camera with improved sensor, a redesigned body that matches the iPad Air and iPad mini, and more.

Apple’s new iPhone models were available for pre-order starting on Friday, September 12th, although most hopeful buyers were met with frustration because the company’s online store was unavailable for a few hours after the launch. The iPhone and iPad-based Apple Store app returned errors, too, leaving customers to try again in hopes of completing their order.

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iPhone 6, 6 Plus pre-orders drawing up to $6,000 via eBay scalpers

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Date: Monday, September 15th, 2014, 11:49
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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Well, you’re gotta admit: this is an admirable level of pre-order scalping.

Per Computerworld, profiteers hoping to turn a quick buck on the shortage of Apple’s new 5.5-in. iPhone 6 Plus handsets have listed their pre-ordered phones on eBay for as much as US$6,000.

While that was the highest asking price for a new iPhone 6 Plus as of Friday afternoon, there were almost 30 listed on the auction site with “Buy It Now” prices between US$2,000 and US$2,999; over 280 between US$1,000 and US$1,999; and even 5 under US$1,000.

Buy It Now is eBay’s non-auction price that sidesteps bidding. Not all eBay entries for the iPhone 6 Plus included a Buy It Now price.

An “unlocked” iPhone 6 Plus starts at US$749 for the 16GB model and climbs to US$949 for one with 128GB of storage.

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Apple negotiates 15 cents per $100 spent on Apple Pay transactions

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Date: Monday, September 15th, 2014, 11:54
Category: News, retail

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Apple’s apparently got some admirable leverage where its transaction negotiations are concerned.

Per the mighty Financial Times, Apple will be garnering 15 cents on every US$100 purchase, more than Google managed for its Google Wallet initiative.

Sources familiar with Apple’s banking and credit card arrangements have stated that Apple will get a 0.15 percent cut of every Apple Pay transaction conducted over its NFC-based Apple Pay system.

The new information adds to a previous report that noted Apple will collect fees from banks for customer purchases. What those fees were, exactly, was unknown at the time.

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