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Microsoft Reveals its Answer to Apple Pay

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is rolling out a digital wallet that looks a lot like Apple Pay.

Like Apple Pay and Android Pay,  Microsoft Wallet lets users pay with credit card and bank account balances via their phones. It also allows customers to sue their rewards cards when pay via phone.

Microsoft Wallet uses Near Field Communications which sends a wireless signal to cash registers like Apple Pay and Android Pay. That probably means major retailers like Walmart, which has rejected Apple Pay and Android Pay will say no to Microsoft Wallet.

Most of the big retailers in the United States are refusing to accept Android Pay and Apple Pay – probably for security reasons. Interestingly enough, many banks and credit unions in the US have embraced the technology.

So far you can only access Visa (NYSE: V) and MasterCard (MA) through Microsoft Wallet. American Express and Discover are not mentioned at its website. Just eight banks are mentioned but only two major US banks accept it; Bank of America and US Bank. One major Canadian Bank TD Bank is also mentioned at the website. Chase is listed there as coming soon.

Microsoft Wallet Available no Retailers Listed

No specific retailers are listed at the Microsoft Wallet website. Yet it’s a safe bet to assume it will be accepted by all the retailers that accept Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Microsoft Wallet is available for the Lumia 650, 650 Dual Sim, 950 and 950 XL phones provided they run on Windows 10. Customers will need to check with their phone carriers for availability.

It looks as if the payment wars truly heating up. Chase (NYSE: JPM) just made Chase Pay available in the App Store and Google Play last month. Chase Pay is the first payment app offered by one of America’s big monster banks – JPMorgan Chase.

Unlike Microsoft Wallet, Chase Pay uses an optical solution called Quick Read Code (QR) which offers an added layer of security. There is no signal that can be intercepted because the cash register an image of a code on the phone. Walmart is also offering a QR code based solution called Walmart Pay in the United States.

Microsoft Wallet is available in the Microsoft Store in the United States. News stories did not say when Microsoft Wallet will become available in other countries.

One other manufacturer, Samsung; offers its own payment app Samsung Pay in the USA. The advent of Microsoft Wallet means that payment solutions are available for the three major phone operating systems.