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

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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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Rumor: Apple in negotiations to use NFC technologies as entry keycards, transit tickets

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014, 10:14
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

If NFC technology isn’t as widespread as it could be, Apple wants to increase its presence. According to 9to5Mac and The Information, Apple is actively scouting out partnerships to increase the utility of the NFC chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Right now, the chip can only be used for payments through Apple Pay as the API is not available to third-party developers.

Sources have stated that the company is talking to potential partners about using the technology for things like building security, public transit tickets and more. The report names that Apple has already been in talks with HID Global and Cubic, who make electronic ‘keycard’ secure building access and transit fare systems.

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The Apple representatives have talked to technology providers like HID Global and Cubic, which enable secure access to buildings and transit fare systems, respectively, said people briefed on the discussions. Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment about any discussions with Apple, but executives there discussed how they could integrate their systems with the iPhone.

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

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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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BBEdit 11.0 released, adds new features, easy import for TextWrangler users

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014, 13:32
Category: News, Software

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You love BBEdit.

And it just hit version 11.

Bare Bones Software today announced the release and immediate availability of BBEdit 11.0, a major upgrade to its professional strength HTML and text editor.

BBEdit 11 builds on an extensively modernized foundation with newly overhauled systems for Find Differences, Clippings, and syntax coloring; and it adds dozens of enhancements and new features.

The new Find Differences workflow provides a more efficient single-window presentation of results for both file and folder comparisons. A new sidebar for folder comparisons identifies
mismatched files and makes easy the process of copying files to bring two differing folders into harmony.

BBEdit’s Clippings system is now more flexible thanks to a reimagining of how clippings are managed and employed. An updated Clippings palette makes it easier to locate and apply specific clippings as
needed.

The internal syntax coloring mechanics have been overhauled, and now allow much greater flexibility in color choices for language support. Many factory-supported languages now sport additional color options, and BBEdit 11 also includes several tastefully constructed built-in color schemes.

This new version of BBEdit provides a number of new built-in commands and editing gestures to enhance everyday productivity. A new “Highlight instances of selected text” feature aids navigation; new commands are provided to support editing of of tabular text, as well as easier manipulation of entire lines of text.

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Apple announces end to SSL 3.0 notifications on October 29th in wake of POODLE vulnerability

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014, 08:05
Category: iOS, News, security, Software

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Sometimes you’ve got to drop back and punt.

Per the Apple developer web site and AppleInsider, Apple announced on Wednesday that it will be removing support for the SSL 3.0 protocol on its Apple Push Notification server.

Apple will be switching off SSL 3.0 support in favor of the more secure transport layer security (TSL) protocol on Wednesday, Oct. 29, noting developers will have to build in support by that time to ensure uninterrupted push notification service continues.

Apps currently using both SSL 3.0 and TSL will not be affected by the change, but those using just SSL 3.0 will need to be updated.

Apple has disabled SSL 3.0 on the Provider Communication interface in the developer environment, offering developers a way to check their apps for compatibility. More information is available through Apple’s Developer Portal.

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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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Apple releases iTunes 12.0.1 update

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Date: Friday, October 17th, 2014, 11:13
Category: iTunes, News, Software

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Along with the release of its OS X 10.10 Yosemite operating system yesterday, Apple also turned loose iTunes 12.0.1 to the public.

The new version, a 212 megabyte download, now features a red icon, is “designed for OS X Yosemite” and according to AppleInsider, along with the usual performance boosts and bug fixes, brings a redesigned interface with translucent elements borrowed from Yosemite.

In addition, users can now activate Family Sharing, a feature that lets customers share music, e-book and app purchases with up to five family members. Family Sharing was introduced with iOS 8 and is now available through Yosemite.

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