Microsoft Payments to Challenge Apple Pay and Google Wallet in Mobile Payments Market

8:51 AM EDT 4/8/2015 by Kara Michelle, Celebeat Reporter

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Microsoft has applied for licensing to be a money transmitter in all 50 states as well as in a number of current and former US territories according to Faisal Khan at his Fintech Blog. "Microsoft has officially entered into the domain of payments, with Microsoft Payments, Inc.," he wrote.

Khan found the application submitted by Microsoft at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to be a Money Services Business (MSB), suggesting that the company may be getting ready to market its own mobile payments platform, much like Google Wallet or Android Pay, Apple Pay, and the soon-to-launch Samsung Pay. He also ascertained that Idaho was one of the first states to have already granted Microsoft a license to be a money transmitter, as listed on the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) registry.

Microsoft previously announced that its upcoming Windows 10 for smartphones would be able to support Host Card Emulation (HCE), meaning it could transmit credit card information without relying on the Secure Element embedded in a SIM like the newer Android phones. HCE will allow payments made from the device to an NFC terminal designed to receive that money without needing a special secure app like Softcard nor a secure SIM from wireless carriers.

Asked by Ars Technica for confirmation about the reported Microsoft Payments platform, a spokesman for the company said: "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."

But Windows Central is anticipating an official announcement may be made about the new payments platform at the Microsoft Build 2015 developer conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco which will take place from April 21 to May 1.

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