Microsoft Makes Move into Mobile Payments
Microsoft may soon be entering the payment industry, challenging mobile wallet providers like Apple Pay and the upcoming Samsung Pay. “Microsoft Payments, Inc.” was granted a money transmitter license, giving the company the right to transfer money from one account or customer to another.
In late March, Microsoft announced that their new Windows 10 phones would support Host Card Emulation, which stores credit card information directly on the server, not on the device itself. HCE is not quite as protective as the Secure Element system used for Apple Pay, but it is better than the current SIM-based payments that require users to download special payment apps or buy a secure SIM for their phones.
In order to officially enter the mobile payments world, Microsoft must be granted a money transmitter license in all 50 states. So far, Idaho is the only state to approve of the application, but other states are expected to follow accordingly. The license approvals can be monitored on the the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System website.
A spokesperson from Microsoft said in a statement, “As a mobile-first, cloud-first company, Microsoft continues to evolve our offerings to meet the needs of both our commercial customers and consumers. Becoming a money service business gives us the flexibility to provide new, innovative cloud services to our customers but we do not have any product announcements at this time.”