Windows Phones are finally (!) getting mobile payments

If you're one of the very few who own a Windows 10 handset, and have a compatible credit card, you'll be able to use Microsoft Wallet with tap-to-pay this summer. That's a lot of ifs.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister

Way to come late to mobile payments, Microsoft. The tech giant said Tuesday that it finally turned on the ability to pay for purchases with a tap in some of its phones running Windows 10 software, the first of which Microsoft launched in October. Microsoft trails Apple, Google and Samsung, whose phones have used NFC mobile payments for months.

If you can't wait to start using Microsoft Wallet with tap-to-pay, the beta version is already available. Otherwise, the feature will roll out more generally this summer. But there are caveats.

  • The new Microsoft Wallet app currently only works with the most recent Lumia phones: the Lumia 650, 950 and 950 XL.
  • It only supports a very limited selection of banks, including Bank of America and three regional credit unions. Chase and US Bank are listed as "coming soon."
  • If you want to use it now, you'll need to be part of the Windows Insider program.

All of this assumes you're part of the small contingent still using Windows Phone. Reportedly, such devices now make up less than 1 percent of global smartphone sales, and Microsoft has made massive job cuts to its phone division.

Technically, this isn't the first time that tap-to-pay has come to Windows Phone. Softcard allowed for mobile payments in 2014, but Softcard closed up shop and discontinued its app after its technology was acquired by Google last year.

Microsoft, via The Next Web