Amazon aims to put Amazon Pay in stores

Amazon aims to put Amazon Pay in stores

While we’ve witnessed the digital wallet explode in Asia, thus far it remains a rather fragmented nascent market here in the US. We’ve seen efforts by Apple, Google, PayPal, and others, but so far here in the US adoption of mobile payments remains low compared to that in Asia. Yes, there are some successes, like the one enjoyed by Starbucks, but so far there is no “universal” mobile payment platform that has taken the country by storm.

This has prompted Amazon to make its move, leveraging consumer comfort with its online digital wallet and one-click payment capability to bring Amazon Pay to the mobile payments space. While Amazon may not be first or second in the mobile payments space, as we’ve seen time and again from Apple, being early with a new technology or disruptive platform doesn’t get a company across the gold medal. Rather, waiting for the inflection point in adoption and having a simple to use and intuitive solution tends to win the race. That could very well be what Amazon is doing as it looks to pick up another tailwind in our Digital Lifestyle investing theme.

 

Amazon.com Inc.  is gearing up to challenge Apple Inc. in the mobile-payments race.

The e-commerce giant is working to persuade brick-and-mortar merchants to accept its Amazon Pay digital wallet, according to people familiar with the matter, attempting to expand a service now used primarily for purchases online.

To start, the company is looking to work with gas stations, restaurants and other merchants that aren’t direct competitors, a person familiar with the matter said. Retailers that view Amazon as a threat could resist the effort, the people said.

The push to become a bigger player in consumer payments shows Amazon’s desire to further integrate itself into the lives of its customers. It isn’t clear exactly how customers would use Amazon Pay in stores: They could tap their phones at checkout, much the same way they use Apple Pay, or scan a code on their phones, among other options. Apple says Apple Pay was accepted at more than five million in-store locations in the U.S. as of May, and the number of merchants accepting its wallet is growing.

Currently, shoppers can use their Amazon accounts to check out at a small number of Amazon’s brick-and-mortar locations, such as Amazon Go and its bookstores, and a growing number of online merchants accept Amazon Pay, its third-party service. Amazon Pay stores credit- and debit-card numbers, allowing shoppers to skip the step of typing in their account information at checkout and making them more likely to complete purchases.

Currently, shoppers can use their Amazon accounts to check out at a small number of Amazon’s brick-and-mortar locations, such as Amazon Go and its bookstores, and a growing number of online merchants accept Amazon Pay, its third-party service. Amazon Pay stores credit- and debit-card numbers, allowing shoppers to skip the step of typing in their account information at checkout and making them more likely to complete purchases.

Amazon also is working to make Alexa, its virtual assistant, an in-store payments platform, people familiar with the matter said. For example, a customer paying for gas could tell the Alexa voice assistant in the car to use Amazon Pay.

Source: Amazon Pay Accepted Here? Web Giant Aims to Put Digital Wallet in Stores – WSJ

Apple Pay now at Costco 

Apple Pay now at Costco 

The chicken or the egg problem that has been facing mobile payment adoption in the US continues to ease with Costco Wholesale joining the ranks of 7-11 and CVS Health to accept Apple Pay. It’s all about reducing transaction friction but I’d also add it’s a relief for someone like me that sometimes forgets his wallet, but not his iPhone. With Consumer Reports recently crowning Apple Pay the winner in a head to head showdown of mobile peer-to-peer payment platforms, beating out the likes of Venmo and Square, and greater retail acceptance we are likely to see greater usage in the coming quarters- a positive for Apple’s growing Services business.

 

Costco has announced that it now accepts Apple Pay at all of its US warehouse stores, and says that the payment method will be coming soon to its gas stations …

The company told CNET that contactless terminals have been installed at both store checkouts and gas stations, but the latter are not yet in use.

Costco was a notable Apple Pay holdout after 7-11 and CVS finally announced their own rollouts last month.

.A recent analyst report suggested that Apple Pay now has more than 250M users worldwide, led by international adoption. Use of the service for online payments is lagging significantly behind offline use, though a recent survey suggested that demand is there.

Source: Apple Pay now accepted at all US Costco warehouses, coming soon to gas stations | 9to5Mac

Grubhub positions to do more for food delivery

Grubhub positions to do more for food delivery

 

Grubhub was one of the first companies with its mobile and online ordering platforms to disrupt how we order food takeout and delivery. The company continues to expand its restaurant offering, which now spans more than 80,000 local restaurants in  1,600 cities under its Grubhub, Seamless, and Eat24 applications. With sales up 50% in the June 2018 quarter, it continues to fend off competition, winning a space in consumer wallets due most likely in part to our busy schedules and certain aspects of our Digital Lifestyle.

Looking to further disrupt the restaurant industry and its reach, Grubhub recently acquired digital payment and customer loyalty program company LevelUp and began accepting PayPal’s Venmo – all to expand what it sees as its scope and scale in the delivery space.

 

Sales were up more than 50% in the second quarter and earnings more than doubled.

Despite competition from the likes of DoorDash, Uber Eats and even the formidable Amazon (AMZN), Grubhub continues to wow investors with its impressive growth.

Grubhub is also partnering with more big national restaurant chains as well as local eateries. The company announced a deal with KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut owner Yum! Brands (YUM) earlier this year.

Grubhub may soon be able to add more chains following its acquisition of mobile technology company LevelUp, which was also announced Wednesday.

LevelUp helps restaurants develop digital payment services and customer loyalty programs. Bareburger, Chop’t and Potbelly (PBPB) are some of LevelUp’s more than 200 clients.

 

Source: Grubhub is winning the food delivery wars

PayPal to acquire iZettle and challenge Square

PayPal to acquire iZettle and challenge Square

The world of cashless consumption continues to expand as PayPal (PYPL) makes a direct move to compete with Square (SQ) on its home turf by acquiring iZettle. This also brings it into competition with Verifone (PAY) and other payment/transaction hardware companies. Our view has been the mobile payments landscape, like many that are in their early innings, is highly fragmented but moves like this one by PayPal and Ingenico’s recent strategic tie up with Tematica Investing Select List resident USA Technologies (USAT) suggest it is starting to mature. As consolidation continues, lines will be drawn and features refined that are likely to foster greater mobile payment adoption. Now if only consumer would understand that mobile payments are more secure than online ones…

PayPal (PYPL) confirmed on Thursday it’s reached a deal to buy payments start-up iZettle for $2.2 billion — the biggest acquisition in its history.U.S.-based PayPal already operates in more than 200 countries around the world but is working to expand its offerings.  IZettle provides mobile card readers and other digital payment products to small businesses. A merger would catapult PayPal into hundreds of thousands of brick-and-mortar storefronts globally in an effort to bring its digital payments tool into physical retailers and compete with companies, like Square.

Source: PayPal buying start-up iZettle for $2.2 billion, rivaling Square

Apple doubles down on Cashless Consumption with Apple Pay Cash

Apple doubles down on Cashless Consumption with Apple Pay Cash

Leveraging its smartphone install base and the popularity of messaging Apple is bringing its Apple Pay Cash feature to market with its iOS 11.2. Currently available to those in the iOS beta program, Apple Pay Cash will offer stiff competition to Venmo, owned by PayPal (PYPL) as well as other “send cash” apps like Zelle used by JPMorgan Chase (JPM), PopMoney at Citi (C) and others that allow you to send-and-receive money virtually between you and  friends. While fees associated with this will be akin to collecting cookie crumbs, given Apple’s install base this has the potential to be positive contributor to Apple’s burgeoning Service business.

Apple is soft-launching direct, person-to-person payments in an iMessage today with the Apple Pay Cash beta. The feature, which was announced earlier this year, allows you to send and receive cash inside the Messages app on iPhones.

The program is launching in public beta today on iOS 11.2 beta 2, and you can opt in using the iOS Public Beta program here. Once you’ve updated, you’ll see an Apple Pay button in the apps section of Messages that allows you to initiate a payment. Payments can also be triggered by simply asking for money in a message or tapping on a message sent by someone else asking for money.

The source of funding is any debit or credit card you have currently added to Apple Pay. Apple will charge no fees for money that is funded via debit cards and an ‘industry standard’ fee for credit cards, likely in the few percent.

This card can only be used to send money or pay for things via Apple Pay, so it’s not a completely discrete “credit/cash card”, but it functions as one as long as you’re within Apple Pay. The reason for the card is multi-faceted, but one big one is that this allows Apple to fund payments to the card immediately. This means that when you get paid via Apple Cash, you’re going to be able to spend that money right away as long as it’s via Apple Cash to someone else or via Apple Pay at a retailer or website that accepts it.

Apple is working with Green Dot to power the financial mechanics of Apple Cash.

Source: Apple Pay Cash launches in beta today, letting you send and receive cash in Messages | TechCrunch

Barclays combines Disruptive Technologies with Cashless Consumption for voice payments

Barclays combines Disruptive Technologies with Cashless Consumption for voice payments

Several quarters ago we shared our view that after capacitive touch, voice would be the next interface to watch. We’ve seen adoption growth in smartphones with Apple (AAPL) and Siri, Microsoft (MSFT) and Cortana, and then in intelligent speakers like Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa powered Echo products. We’ve even read about licensing deals between Amazon and appliance as well as auto manufacturers for the Alexa technology. Now Barclays (BCS) is combining this Disruptive Technology with our Cashless Consumption theme to enable voice payments.

If you have a Barclays bank account, you can now make payments simply by instructing Siri to do it.

The feature, added to the latest version of the company’s iOS app, uses the Siri integration for payment apps Apple introduced with iOS 10.

PayPal took advantage of this last November, but banks have been slow to do so …NordVPNMaking a payment is as simple as ‘Hey Siri, pay John Appleseed $10 with Barclays.’

As with PayPal, the exact wording shouldn’t be important so long as you specify the person, the amount and Barclays.

To prevent someone picking up your unlocked phone and asking Siri to make a payment to them, Barclays says several protections are in place. First, you need to opt-in to the feature.

Source: Barclays bank now lets customers make payments via Siri | 9to5Mac

Tencent scales thematic investments in payments, AI and cloud

Tencent scales thematic investments in payments, AI and cloud

Our Content is King theme isn’t the only one getting a lot of attention this week as more companies look to invest not only in payments, which we see as Cashless Consumption but also artificial intelligence, a slice of our Disruptive Technologies theme. As we look at these moves, we are reminded of the global nature of our investing themes. This means that Amazon (AMZN), MasterCard (MA), Visa (V), Facebook (FB), Alphabet (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), PayPal (PYPL) and the like need to be aware of moves made by Tencent (TCHEY), Alibaba (BABA) and other players outside the US.

Tencent, the Chinese mobile games and social media company, is gearing up to increase its investments in online payments, cloud services and artificial intelligence.Still, with competition on the rise in the digital payments market, the investments are necessary. “We think there is still a lot of growth potential from Tencent’s cloud and payment business,” BOCOM International Analyst Connie Gu said in the Reuters report.

China’s Tencent isn’t only investing in artificial intelligence, payments and cloud services. Earlier this month, it showcased how it is also investing in other areas. Essential Products, the smartphone company that was started by Andy Rubin — the creator of the Android mobile operating system — raised $300 million in venture funding from a cadre of investors, including Tencent. According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, the company announced the list of investors betting it can take on Apple and Samsung Electronics in the smartphone market, reported the paper.

Source: Tencent Increases Investments In AI, Payments | PYMNTS.com