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Windows could soon jump into mobile payments realm too

October 21, 2015

In the last year or so, a number of tech giants and phone manufacturers have announced the creation of their own branded mobile payment platforms that allow consumers to turn their smartphones into digital wallets.

In the last year or so, a number of tech giants and phone manufacturers have announced the creation of their own branded mobile payment platforms that allow consumers to turn their smartphones into digital wallets. However, one of the biggest names in software and phone manufacturing has long been on the outside of this trend, and that may change in the very near future.

The Windows 10 mobile operating system will soon support mobile payments in much the same way Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android currently do, likely with its own unique platform to facilitate transactions via smartphone, according to a report from Re/code. This revelation came at the launch of a new product from Lenovo, when Microsoft vice president Joe Belfiore said that the company is hard at work bringing such a system to the fore on Windows 10, adding, “We have a bunch of work we are doing there.”

The next big thing?
Windows has actually had the embedded technology to have a mobile wallet platform on its phones since the launch of the Windows Phone 8 a few years ago, the report said. But there have been many obstacles that got in the way of a better roll-out, not the least of which was development and licensing. Belfiore said that setting up such systems is extremely complex, and has recently hired a former Amazon executive who helped set up that company’s own payment processing service to help facilitate the plans.

“Windows is going to have a wallet concept,” Belfiore told the site. “We’re going to think about the range of payment scenarios.”

Mobile payments are the wave of the future, being adopted by more tech giants.Mobile payments are the wave of the future, being adopted by more tech giants.

Additional security?
Beyond all that, though, it might be important to note that Microsoft could add an extra layer of security features to its own entry into the mobile payment processing ecosystem, the report said. Windows Hello, a user-authentication program, could also be rolled into how people would use a potential Microsoft purchasing platform, meaning that the already significantly heightened security (in comparison with traditional credit cards) from existing mobile platforms could be further improved upon, bringing additional certainty to consumers and merchants alike who decide to use it.

However, it should be noted that Windows phones aren’t exactly commanding a significant market share – certainly not to the level of the iPhone or the various Android options – so the actual amount of impact this has on the industry in and of itself might not be that significant. But it does highlight potential areas where consumers and merchants alike can continue to see a greater portion of the population getting access to and using tap-to-pay mobile technology, further driving broader adoption. That, in turn, should help to bring additional security to the national payment infrastructure as a whole, especially if Microsoft can indeed find new ways to innovate more types of protections that other manufacturers can adopt as well.

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