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Microsoft’s Apple Pay rival moves one step closer to launch

Microsoft Payments vs. Apple Pay vs. Android Pay

It’s no secret Microsoft wants to turn mobile Windows 10 devices into digital wallets that work more or less like the Apple Pay, Android Pay (and Google Wallet) and Samsung Pay services that are available on mobile devices from the competition. The company has recently confirmed that future Windows 10 devices will support Host Card Emulation (HCE), a protocol that permits credit card data transmission without the need of a Secure Element available in the SIM card.

On top of that, Microsoft has also quietly applied for licensing to be a money transmitter in all 50 states, Ars Technica reports, a step required before offering mobile payments solutions to its customers.

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Discovered by banking consultant Faisal Kahn, an application submitted by Microsoft at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to be a Money Services Business (MSB) confirms that Microsoft wants to follow in the footsteps of rivals and become the master of its own mobile payments ecosystem.

Idaho is one of the first states to grant Microsoft permission to operate as an MSB, the publication notes. Idaho doesn’t list documentation for pending applications, only approved ones (see screenshot below).

Meanwhile, Microsoft has yet to confirm any details about its mobile payment plans, but the company didn’t deny its interest in handling mobile payments for end-users either.

“As a mobile-first, cloud-first company, Microsoft continues to evolve our offerings to meet the needs of both our commercial customers and consumers,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars. “Becoming a money service business gives us the flexibility to provide new, innovative cloud services to our customers but we do not have any product announcements at this time.”

An image proving Microsoft Payments is approved to operate in Idaho follows below.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.