Mobile technology has been making great strides in the payment processing market lately, with more and more people using their cell phones as wallets, in addition to all the other purposes that the phones serve today. Meanwhile, major credit card companies, Internet services and mobile network operators have been doing everything to simplify the process of mobile payments and grab a larger share of this rapidly growing market. This article talks about some of the major news and latest developments in mobile payment processing.

Square Cash Allows Sending Money by Email

Square

Among the innovators in the industry is Square, the company that designed the little card reader, which can be attached to one’s cell phone to easily process payments. The company has launched Square Cash a few weeks ago, allowing U.S. residents to send money to each other via email. Anyone with an email address, no matter if it’s a business account or a personal one, can use the service. All you have to do to send money with Square Cash is to simply add [email protected] to the cc field of your message. Enter the amount you are sending into the subject line and use the body of the email to write anything you’d like. The receiver will get the money within one to two business days. Square Cash has also designed an app for iOS and Android, which fills out the email information for you and then switches to your regular email app to complete the process.

If you are a first-time sender, you will receive an email after your first transaction, asking you to enter your debit card information. Other than that, no account setup is required, nor do you need to provide your bank’s routing address or any other information, a debit card is all you need. After receiving your card details, the system will link the card to your email address, and you will not have to repeat the process for any future transactions. All you’ll need to do from then on is send emails to people you want to transfer funds to and keep Square Cash in the loop (as a carbon copy).

When receiving money, you will have to click the link in the message, which will take you to the website of Square Cash. Just as you would do when sending cash, you’ll need to enter your debit card information and the system will link the card to your email.

What makes the service so great is not only its convenience, but also the fact that it’s entirely free. The only limitation is that you cannot send any more than $2,500 a week. There is no limit to how much money you can receive, though. By introducing this free alternative to PayPal, Square Cash positioned itself as a serious competitor in the payment processing business.

Isis is Giving Away Free Smoothies

Isis

Considering that competition in mobile processing has been heating up, Isis has teamed up with Jamba Juice to give away one million free smoothies to buyers who use Isis mobile wallet when checking out. A free app that allows you to make payments with your smartphone, the Isis Mobile Wallet is one the biggest players in the field of mobile payment technology today. You can add multiple cards to your virtual wallet, and select which ones you want to pay with when checking out at any participating location. So far Isis has only been running its service in Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah. But it is planning to roll out its service across the United States later this year, and the free smoothie campaign is part of the attempt to raise awareness of mobile payment processing as a whole, and Isis in particular.

Before heading out to the nearest Jamba Juice, however, make sure that your phone is equipped with NFC technology. Many of the popular devices come with it, including most of the current Nokia, Samsung, Google, Motorola and Blackberry models. But when using other popular devices such as iPhone, for instance, you will need to have an NFC-enabled sleeve to be able to take advantage of the offer. Rumor has it that iPhone 6 is supposed to come equipped with NFC, but that would mean that Isis has little chance of penetrating the Apple market until the fall of next year.

PayPal Acquires Braintree

Braintree

While it remains the leader in online payment processing, Ebay’s PayPal has been trying to stay on top of the mobile payment technology as well. The Internet company has proved that its intentions in the mobile industry are serious by paying $800 million to acquire the Venmo unit of Braintree, a start-up providing mobile and Web payment processing. Close to 40 million people around the world use Braintree for their mobile payments. The service allows its customers to use the same payment information over and over again, after entering it just once. When your information is already in the system, one click is all it takes to make a payment through the service. Companies such as Uber, OpenTable and Fab use Braintree for their mobile payments, among many other popular merchants. By the end of this year alone, the service is expecting to process around $12 billion worth of payments. Out of that amount, $4 billion of its sales has been processed through mobile devices. One of Braintree’s strengths is the fact that it has a far reach not only in North America, but all around the globe, with companies in 40 countries using the service to process their customers’ payments.

Square and PayPal were both in the talks of buying this Chicago-based start-up, but PayPal came up with a winning bid. In addition to mobile payments, Braintree provides a full package of commercial services for online businesses. This includes merchant accounts, credit card information storage, recurring billing service and international payments support, to name a few. EBay has announced that the acquisition is supposed to get finalized in the fourth quarter of 2013.

It remains to be seen which company will emerge as the leader in mobile payment processing, but while many entities are competing for the No. 1 position, consumers should be expecting a lot of progress and innovation in the coming months.

Sources for this article include:

news.cnet.com
mashable.com
venturebeat.com
www.nfcworld.com
news.cnet.com
techcrunch.com
www.forbes.com