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Would a $60B purchase of Amex (AXP) make sense for Apple (AAPL) and Apple Pay?

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Apple first introduced its mobile payments solution in 2014 and has been gradually expanding it both domestically and internationally since then, most recently announcing a handful of new features and countries at WWDC this month. What’s interesting to note, however, is that Apple is bringing in just $0.15 per every $100 spent using Apple Pay. Brian Nichols of InvestorPlace points out that rate is much lower than the 2 percent to 4 percent rates collected by companies like MasterCard and Visa. The solution suggested by Nichols? Make Apple Pay an actual transactor of payments…



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Australian banks accused of anti-competitive behavior by refusing to allow customers to use Apple Pay

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If you’re wondering why Apple Pay is as yet only available for Amex cards in Australia, it’s not because Apple isn’t working hard enough to introduce it there: it’s because Australian banks are refusing to sign up for it. The opposition Labor Party spokesman on digital innovation is now suggesting that this refusal may constitute anti-competitive behavior, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Reserve Bank has been urged to examine potential anti-competitive behaviour in the emerging card-free payments market amid claims the banks have frozen out newcomer Apple Pay […]

“Australian consumers should not be denied the ability to make payment choices that are openly available to consumers globally,” Ed Husic wrote. “No doubt some will argue this move by the banks is anti-competitive – I am certainly concerned that it denies consumer access to a secure, efficient payment platform.”

As we reported back in August, one big sticking point is fees … 

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American Express now supports Apple Pay on US corporate cards

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American Express credit cards have supported Apple Pay since the iOS device-based mobile payment service launched nearly a year ago, and today AmEx announced that it has turned on support for corporate cards in the United States. Previously, American Express cards in the US were limited to consumer cards and OPEN Small Business cards. Apple CEO Tim Cook first shared that the expansion was coming during last month’s quarterly conference call with analysts.

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Discover cardholders get Apple Pay support starting this fall

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Discover announced today that it’s made a deal with Apple to join the other three big card companies already offering support for the company’s new payments service, Apple Pay. That means that starting this fall, Discover cardholders will finally be able to add their cards to the service and make contactless, NFC-based payments using iPhone and Apple Watch, as well as make payments within apps supporting the platform on all iOS devices.

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Apple Pay adds 18 more banks & credit unions, 100 institutions supported

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Ahead of Apple’s ‘Spring forward’ event on Monday where we expect to hear much more about the Apple Watch, more than a dozen new banks and credit unions have added support for Apple Pay. The Apple Watch will support the mobile payment service and extend Apple Pay support in stores beyond the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s when paired. Following the addition of 18 new banks including credit unions for American Airlines and IBM today, Apple Pay is now supported by nearly 100 institutions. Here’s the list of newly added banks:

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American Express touts Apple Pay as ‘Next Evolution of Membership’ [video]

It’s no surprise that the three major card companies in the US have been taking advantage of being the first with Apple Pay out the door and that the majority of their latest ads and promotions have centered around the new payment service. The latest comes from American Express with a just released ad focusing on highlighting Apple Pay as “The Next Evolution of Membership.”



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Apple Pay adds another 15 banks and credit unions, over 60 institutions now supported

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Last month Apple rolled out support for dozens of banks and credit unions with Apple Pay bringing the count to more than 45 institutions, and today Apple is out with the first wave of the month adding more than a dozen new banks to its list of supported Apple Pay banks bringing the total count to over 60 institutions. Here are the new banks listed as supporting Apple Pay as of today:

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Amazon Rewards Visa card now ready to load in Apple Pay

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Update: A spokesperson for Amazon confirmed Amazon Rewards Visa cards now support Apple Pay: “Amazon Rewards Visa Cardholders can now pay with Apple Pay. The website (https://www.chasedigitalpayments.com/) has been updated and cardholders can now start provisioning their cards.”

Just two days after Amazon said it was working to enable its Rewards Visa card in Apple Pay, the company has made good on its promise. Reddit users are reporting success in adding the card, and TechCrunch posted the above photo of a card loaded into the app … 

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Apple Pay already works abroad on supported NFC terminals w/ US-based cards

Following yesterday’s launch of Apple Pay through participating card issuers, banks and retailers in the US, some users have discovered that the payment service is also already being accepted through some retailers abroad. 9to5Mac readers report using Apple Pay loaded with a US-based credit card at retailers in Australia and Canada…

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American Express publishes new web page explaining Apple Pay setup and purchases

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American Express has published a new web page explaining the benefits of Apple Pay to cardholders and providing directions on how to setup the payment system, which won’t actually be available until next week. The page also points out that American Express cardholders will be able to get the same rewards and other perks that usually come with a credit card when using the card through Apple Pay.

The page says that customers will have a “seamless connection” to the American Express app and lists a few stores where NFC payments will be accepted. The page was emailed to cardholders today in preparation for the release of the software update on Monday.



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Apple reportedly negotiated transaction fee discounts w/ major banks ahead of mobile payment system

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Financial site Bank Innovation reports that Apple has negotiated lower transaction fees with American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Citigroup, and JP Morgan Chase ahead of the debut of its mobile payment system expected to be announced alongside the new iPhone models next week. The report notes that the banks were likely willing to lower rates to ensure participation and due to Apple’s security measures including the iPhone’s Touch ID sensor.

The first thing Apple has done is convince these four FIs to consider transactions from Apple’s upcoming payments venture — said to launch with its forthcoming iPhone 6 introduction — as “card present” transactions, which carry a lower discount rate than “card not present” transactions, because of lower fraud risk.



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AAPL climbs to #5 in Fortune 500 as gross revenues reached $170B

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Apple’s gross revenues of $170B were enough for the world’s most valuable company by market cap to climb one place in the Fortune 500 ranking, from 6th to 5th place.

Apple was placed behind Walmart, Exxon, Chevron and conglomerate holding company Berkshire Hathaway (which owns large chunks of such well-known brands as Heinz, Coca-Cola, Mars and American Express). Phillips 66, General Motors, Ford Motor, General Electric and Valero Energy make up the rest of the top 10.

While Apple ranks fifth in terms of revenues, its huge cash reserves mean that it has tended to alternate with Exxon as the world’s most valuable company when measured by market capitalization, and is arguably significantly undervalued by most measures … 

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American Express offers $5 credit to iTunes customers for the month of April

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American Express is running a special offer through the month of April allowing cardholders to get $5 back on any $5 purchase through the iTunes music, app, or iBook stores. If you’ve got an American Express card and want to take advantage of the deal, you’ll need to opt-in to the offer through your account online.

Once you’ve done that, just make $5 worth of purchases on iTunes Store with your American Express card. You’ll see the money credited back on your statement during the next billing period. Unfortunatley not every user will be eligible for the offer. If you are eligible you’ll find the offer listed on your dashboard.

Tim Cook improves on Steve Jobs’ approval rating at Glassdoor CEO survey

Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has only held his title for 10 months, but he is already the world’s Highest-Rated CEO.

Careers community Glassdoor gave Cook a 97 percent rating in its “Top 25 Highest Rates CEOs” list for 2012. Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs only boasted 95 percent during his last year as chief executive.



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