Overshadowed by Apple's earnings call for the second fiscal quarter of 2017, Apple Pay on Tuesday officially added support for 21 new U.S. financial institutions, as well as HSBC for Australian customers.
Apple is said to be working on its own peer-to-peer money transfer service, potentially under the secure Apple Pay umbrella, allowing users to quickly and securely send money to one another, much like Venmo and Square Cash.
The digital wallet race just lost another contestant, with Plastc Card entering bankruptcy and announcing to investors that it will shut down without ever delivering the digital payment card. Plastc joins Coin—which threw in the towel in February—in the electronic money pit that Apple has avoided with Apple Pay.
Mastercard is reportedly testing cards that integrate a fingerprint sensor, intended to offer a more convenient alternative to entering a PIN. Unlike Apple Pay, however, the cards would lack a series of important security features.
This year could prove to be pivotal for Apple Pay in a number of ways, including adoption and merchant availability, but also in support from card issuers, many of which have contracts with Apple up for renewal.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Friday local time issued a determination denying the country's big-three banks authorization to collectively negotiate with Apple over access to Apple Pay NFC technology.
Card payment firm Square is expanding its reach into Europe, with the launch of the Square Reader in the U.K., offered as a way for small businesses to easily accept card payments using chip and PIN, contactless transactions, and mobile payments including Apple Pay.
Apple this week updated its list of banks and credit unions supporting Apple Pay with over 30 additions across the U.S., China, and Australia, most notably re-adding Santander in the U.S., which was mistakenly put on the list a month ago.
Following the end of a successful pilot project, Wells Fargo will be opening up smartphone-based withdrawals at all 13,000 of its U.S. ATMs on Monday, March 27 — though support for Apple Pay isn't yet on the horizon.
Major banks in Australia find alternatives to NFC-based payments, such as Apple Pay, to be an "unrealistic" prospect to the Australian mobile payment marketplace, according to a submission provided to a government regulator, arguing for Apple to open up access of the iPhone's NFC technology to third parties.