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Microsoft preparing its own payments service to compete with Apple Pay

Microsoft wants to be in the mobile payments battle, following the launch of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and the reported re-launch of Google Wallet this summer.

In order to skip some of the agreements with carriers, Microsoft is working on a tap-to-pay system with Host Emulation support, allowing the mobile to work without a “Secure Element” provided by carriers.

This means Microsoft can work directly with VISA, Mastercard and American Express to bring its own NFC payments service into the market. It will work with all contactless card readers, similar to Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

It is still less supported than Samsung Pay, which reverse engineers the standard card reader to accept mobile payments, by adding a case onto the smartphone allowing it to act like a normal credit or debit card.

Microsoft plans to launch the service on Windows 10, coming this summer in 190 countries. The company showed off the technology during the WinHEC event in China, sharing some of the fundamentals of the Windows 10 platform for smartphones.

Biometric sensors will be supported on Windows 10, meaning the payments service will most likely support fingerprint or retina scanners. This could allow an extra layer of protection, something Apple provides through Touch ID on the iPhone.

Microsoft has not shown off the interface for handling payments, and it is unclear if it will build a profile similar to Google Wallet, or simply act as a transactor for the payment.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.