Apple patent filing reveals digital wallet system

Apple has cautiously been dipping its toes into the mobile payments pool. But a freshly-published patent filing describes an entire backend system designed to secure electronic payments made through your phone.

Published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a patent dubbed "Method to send payment data through various air interfaces without compromising user data" envisions how electronic transactions would securely travel using your existing mobile phone's technology.

You'd start out by paying for an item using your phone. The retailer's point of sale (POS) device would be connected to a backend system designed … Read more

PayPal simplifies online checkouts -- no more redirects

Paying for stuff with PayPal can sometimes be a pain. When users click to buy an item on third-party Web sites, they are usually redirected to PayPal's site, have to sign in there and then carry out the process. This is something the online payments company is now changing.

Paypal announced on Monday that it is redesigning its online checkout system so that those annoying redirects are no longer part of the payment process. Now, customers should be able to do the whole checkout within a merchant's Web site and in fewer steps.

PayPal's vice president of … Read more

Amazon said to be buying payments startup GoPago

Word has it Amazon is eyeing payments business GoPago, which could give it a leg up in the mobile payments business. According to reports in Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, GoPago CTO Vincenzo di Nicola said that Amazon has acquired the startup.

However, there appears to be some confusion over whether the acquisition happened or is going to happen. According to The Wall Street Journal, Nicola later said his comments were only "partly accurate." CNET contacted Amazon and GoPago for comment and we'll update the story when we get more information.

If Amazon does … Read more

Google adopts Boston Dynamics' animal robots

CNET Update is doing the robot:

In this episode of CNET Update:

- Check out the impressive animal-like robots created by Boston Dynamics, now owned by Google.

- Wait and see if Sprint decides to buy T-Mobile. In the meantime, Sprint is expanding it's 4G LTE to more cities. It also has a new wireless technology called Spark, which is faster than LTE.

- Pay for an Amazon Kindle Fire HDX tablet in four installments over nine months.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of … Read more

Square acquires peer-to-peer mobile payments app Evenly

Square's latest acquisition is aimed at making it easier to collect money from friends. The mobile payments company announced Wednesday that it had bought the startup Evenly, which designed an easy payment app.

"At Square, we are committed to creating a better experience for our merchants by helping them focus on their customers, rather than on the payment itself," Square product engineering lead Gokul Rajaram said in a blog post. "Evenly's app made it easy for anyone to send or collect payments from friends, anywhere, anytime. But more importantly, the team showcased the importance of … Read more

Thinner card reader could help Square not 'fail' its users

Square knows that while its mobile payments system is increasingly popular, if its credit card readers fail, potential customers are less likely to continue using it.

One of the most common failure points for the current reader, which plugs into a smart phone's headphone jack, is its internal complexity: a system of dozens of small parts, including wires, a spring, and more. Today, the company unveiled a new version of the reader that does away with many of those parts and which is designed to significantly reduce the chances of dysfunction.

The new reader was designed from the ground … Read more

Coin to strengthen security of all-in-one credit card

The makers of Coin -- a device that can be programmed to act as a credit, debit, gift, and rewards card rolled into one -- were not expecting their .84mm-thin device to become a Silicon Valley sensation. Sure, their promotional video and Web site were well-produced, but the team of seven set its crowdfunding goal at a modest $50,000. The startup hit that goal in only 40 minutes. Meanwhile, its YouTube video has attracted more than 5.5 million views.

CEO Kanishk Parashar is keeping under wraps just how many devices Coin has sold since launching this past Thursday. … Read more

Uber picks up PayPal to drive member numbers

Uber users can now pay for on-demand car service with PayPal, kicking off a partnership that lends PayPal some mobile cred while potentially driving new users to Uber's services.

Uber is releasing new versions of its Android and iOS app Monday night in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the US. Both apps will have PayPal built in as a new form of payment. To promote the partnership, the companies are giving Uber users $15 off rides paid for with PayPal until November 28.

While it may seem like a small change for US users -- Uber currently takes … Read more

American Express is Switzerland in mobile payment war

American Express, unlike seemingly everyone else with a stake in the financial world, isn't interested in creating its own digital wallet for mobile payments.

Instead, it is dipping its foot into different facets of the mobile payment world, going for a more neutral stance.

"We want our card members to use their cards in whatever form or technology they choose," said David Yoo, senior vice president of mobile products and services for American Express.

Rather than get involved in the brewing mobile payment wars, which includes rivals such as Visa and MasterCard, but also Google, the wireless … Read more

Bank on Coin as all-in-one credit card? It could cost you

If Kickstarter is any reflection of the zeitgeist, one of the biggest problems plaguing humanity is an insufficient selection of wallets.

And judging by the projects building out those wallets, there's an unmet need for minimalist designs, those that hold a few bills or none at all and a small selection of plastic cards. Meanwhile, it seems you can't buy so much as a stick of gum from a local drug store without being prompted to present or acquire a loyalty or charge card.

Many see the smartphone or some connected convergent device using a standard such as … Read more