Microsoft Payments may join Apple, Android, Samsung in pay platforms

Microsoft logoIn February, Microsoft quietly applied for licensing to be a money transmitter in all 50 states as well as an assortment of current and former US territories. Banking consultant Faisal Kahn recently found an application (PDF) submitted by Microsoft at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to be a Money Services Business (MSB), suggesting that the company is taking next steps to develop its own mobile payments platform akin to Google Wallet (or Android Pay), Apple Pay, and the yet-to-be launched Samsung Pay.

Kahn confirmed that Idaho was one of the first states to grant Microsoft a license to be a money transmitter, as listed on the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) registry. NMLS does not publish information on applications not yet approved by the state.

Microsoft Payments may join Apple, Android, Samsung in pay platforms

In March, Microsoft announced that its forthcoming Windows 10 for phones and small tablets (a.k.a. "Windows Mobile"), would support Host Card Emulation (HCE). HCE is a method of transmitting credit card information without relying on a Secure Element embedded in a SIM. Newer Android phones use HCE to transmit NFC signals to terminals, and the benefits of the scheme mean that third-party developers can build NFC functions into their apps. The elimination of the Secure Element requirement makes the payment platform SIM-independent, and hence carrier agnostic.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Ars that it's too early to herald Microsoft Payments just yet, however. As a mobile-first, cloud-first company, Microsoft continues to evolve our offerings to meet the needs of both our commercial customers and consumers, the spokesperson said. 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.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Microsoft

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