Market Mad House

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Chase Freedom Giving Cash back on Android Pay and other Digital Wallets

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) is making an aggressive push to woe mobile-wallet users. Its Chase Freedom card will give holders 5% cashback for purchases made with Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Chase Pay.

The cashback is also available for HULU, Netflix, Verizon, AT&T, and Spotify purchases, a press release indicates. Chase Freedom will also pay 5% cashback for purchases made at gas stations and some phone and cable companies.

Walmart Pay users will not get cash back by paying with Chase Freedom, but they can get 5% Cashback by using Chase Pay at Walmart. Walmart (NYSE: WMT), America’s retailer accepts Chase Pay because it is a quick-read (QR) code based application like Walmart Pay. Although Chase Pay users can get 10% cash back at Walmart; if they pay with the Chase Sapphire or Freedom Unlimited Cards, before December 24, 2017, Nerdwallet reported.

Walmart does not accept Android Pay, Samsung Pay, or Apple Pay because they use a different technology called near field communication (NFC). NFC uses a wireless signal to communicate with cash registers; QR code scans a code, which provides another layer of security.

The Alipay Invasion Continues

Strangely enough, Chase is not offering the 5% cashback for uses of other popular mobile wallets such as Ant Financial’s Alipay, WeChat, or Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Indian wallet, Tez.

That might be a mistake because Alipay and WeChat are on the offensive in North America. The Nikkei Asian Review reported that North American stores are adopting Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat in an attempt to attract big spenders from China.

Alipay and WeChat have a big war chest for their North American invasion. The transaction volume of mobile payments in China hit $5.5 trillion in 2016, The South China Morning Post reported.

The operator of China’s credit-card system Union Pay has taken notice of this launched its own solution Union Pay Quick Pass, The Morning Post reported. Union Pay Quick Pass is a potential game changer because it uses both QR code and NFC.

Photo By Spencer Tirey

A logical next step would for Chase Pay, Android Pay, Alipay, WeChat, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Walmart Pay to add both QR code and NFC capabilities. Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Tez works with QR code in India, but not NFC.

Portland Transit Agency Accepts Android Pay

Bus, light-rail, streetcar, and commuter-train riders in Portland, Oregon, can now use Android Pay to pay for their rides.

TriMet, the agency that runs Portland’s transit, is conducting a Beta Test of a virtual payment card supported by Android Pay, Mobile Payments Today reported. The payment card known as Hop can be reloaded online or with Android Pay. TriMet riders will also be able to pay fares on some streetcars, light rail trains, and commuter trains with Android Pay.

An interesting feature of the test is a rewards program designed to encourage transit use. Riders that purchase a number of fares equivalent to the cost of a monthly pass get free transit rides for the rest of the month.

Another benefit to this system is that Chase Freedom Cardholders that use  Android Pay to pay for their transit can get 5% cashback and earn points toward free rides. Solutions like that might one day make bus passes a thing of the past.