Chase Announces Chase Pay, Its Own Digital Wallet – Re/code

Add Chase to the list of banks creating their own digital wallets to challenge those from Apple, Samsung and Google. The consumer banking arm of JPMorgan Chase is launching Chase Pay, a digital wallet that can be used to pay by phone in stores and restaurants and to more easily pay in online stores and apps.

Gordon Smith, Chase’s CEO of consumer & community banking, made the announcement at the Money20/20 payments conference in Las Vegas on Monday. In a video outlining the new product, Chase showed shoppers paying in stores by displaying a QR code to the cashier, not by tapping and paying through NFC technology like Apple Pay and Android Pay. The video also shows a diner paying at a restaurant by taking a photo of the bill.

Smith said Chase is partnering with MCX, the consortium of retailers led by Walmart, to have Chase Pay accepted in its member stores, restaurants and gas stations. Those businesses include Kohl’s, Chili’s, Sunoco and Best Buy. In some of these stores, customers will be able to pay by showing a QR code within the Chase Pay app. In others, Chase customers will have to use Chase Pay inside MCX’s own CurrentC app. It’s not clear which of the MCX member retailers will support which method. MCX has been in existence for several years, but its CurrentC app is still restricted to a pilot test in Columbus, Ohio.

The new service will pit Chase Pay against digital wallets from Apple, Google and Samsung in vying to replace the swipe of a payment card with the tap of a phone. While Chase cards are compatible with these services, Chase has to compete with other banks inside these wallets to be the credit or debit card that a shopper ultimately chooses. In Chase Pay, however, only Chase cards are allowed. Similarly, Capital One recently announced its own mobile payment feature, even though it also plans to participate in Google’s Android Pay. It’ll be interesting to see whether these new banking apps complicate the relationships between banks and the big tech companies they are partnering with on competing wallets.

Chase thinks it has an incentive for merchants to accept Chase Pay: They will pay lower transaction fees on Chase Pay purchases than they do on purchases made with other payment methods, a Chase rep said. More pricing details weren’t immediately available.

Chase Pay’s use of QR codes on phones means it should work with most Android and Apple phones; Android Pay and Samsung Pay work only on Android devices and Apple Pay on iPhones. But paying using a QR code is often not quite as easy as tap-to-pay methods like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, though Starbucks is one exception that has made mobile QR code payments work well.

Chase will pre-populate customer Chase Pay accounts with the Chase debit or credit card that the customer uses most frequently. Chase Pay will launch “about the middle of 2016,” Smith said.


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