Quiet news week, only three stories this time….
1. Apple is becoming a bank (finally). Just like Google the week before, Apple has made a few payment related announcements at its developer’s conference. The biggest news is that Apple Pay will be launching its own person to person (P2P) payment service linked to an Apple branded prepaid card. This will try and keep people in the Apple universe and try and further remove customers from their banks. Will it succeed? It faces an uphill battle, there is already a popular P2P payment service in the US (Venmo) and Apple Pay has struggled to maintain relevance with many consumers but Apple will continue to add new features and products while moving closer and closer to becoming a digital bank.
2. Samsung Pay adds Bixby voice-controlled banking in South Korea. Not wishing to miss out on the spotlight, Samsung Pay has announced users across South Korea can now use the Bixby artificial intelligence feature in Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus handsets to conduct transactions with their voice, including completing peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers and finding out their account balance. While not as headline grabbing as the news out of Google or Apple, this shows that leveraging biometrics (voice authentication) can streamline a payment experience.
3. China Just Went Full-On Big Brother on Its Credit Card System. Under President Xi Jinping there has been a major move to reduce corruption across the country. The latest moves have seemed to hit the credit card market. Starting in September, Chinese banks will be required to report any overseas credit card transactions over 1,000 yuan, that’s $147. With Chinese consumers increasingly spending money overseas, this is no small change but will require significantly more reporting from all payment providers involved. Not a pile of paperwork I would like to handle.