The year is wrapping up and 2015 has been big year in the payment processing sector. Although it may seem like a niche industry, the truth is that all business, big and small, are affected by trends and changes in payment processing. Below, you’ll find our choices for the top seven payment processing milestones of 2015.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay had a slow start in the United States, but in 2015 this payment app spread to many international markets, including the U.K., Canada, and Australia. Apple has also announced that in 2016 the service will spread to Spain, Singapore, and Hong Kong, with rumors circulating about a presence in China as well.

Android Pay and Samsung Pay

The biggest payment processing milestones this past year centered on mobile wallets and mobile payment apps, as Android Pay and Samsung Pay came to the market in 2015. This is Google’s second smartphone-based payment system, retiring the previous Google Wallet that was not very popular.

H2= EMV

A few months ago, the EMV compliance deadline passed on October 1, 2015 for nearly all merchants. Some businesses, like gas stations, have an additional two years to migrate over to EMV technology. However, this industry has been one of the strongest adopters of the new EMV compliance regulations.

H2= Host Card Emulation

This year Android Pay proved the viability of Host Card Emulation (HCE) payment technology. Now RBC, Capital One, and other banks and card providers are creating their own apps. HCE’s predecessor is Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which uses a separate secure element, either a SIM card or a special chip. Android’s HCE technology does not require this additional secure element. HCE technology allows any Android app to communicate directly with the NFC reader.

Visa Merger

Visa and Visa Europe announced their reunification this year, giving Visa, based in America, access to Visa Europe’s market while Visa Europe is gaining access to mobile and digital payment resources to strengthen this technology’s presence in Europe.

PayPal Separation

In 2015, PayPal split from eBay, which had owned PayPal since 2002. This separation allows PayPal to create partnerships with companies that previously opposed (or competed with) eBay. This year PayPal has emerged as a leader in mobile and digital payments for the first time.

Tokens

The tokenization trend has been led by Visa and MasterCard in their effort to amp up credit and debit card payment security. After the premier of Apple Pay, laden with tokenization technology, Visa and MasterCard are placing this technology in more of their products, like the MasterPass digital wallet.

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