The Nilson Report

THE CURRENT ISSUE: Issue 1058 | Mar 2015


Companies featured in The Current Issue include:

Headlines from The Current Issue

Top U.S. Credit Card Issuers

Top U.S. Visa/MasterCard Credit Card Issuers

Google Buys MNO Partnerships

Samsung Pay Launches with NFC and MST

U.S. Department of Justice vs. Amex

Visa Geolocation Mobile Confirmation

Yapital QR Code Payments

YellowPepper Mobile in Latin America

Panasonic Tablet with Integrated EMV

Charts in this Issue

Credit Card Outstandings for Top Issuers of U.S. General Purpose Cards

Shares of Purchase Volume for U.S. Credit Card Issuers

U.S. Credit Card Issuers - Highest Purchase Volume

U.S. Credit Card Issuers - Highest Outstandings

U.S. Credit Card Issuers - Most Visa Credit Cards

U.S. Credit Card Issuers - Most MasterCard Credit Cards

U.S. Credit Card Issuers - Most Credit Cards

U.S. Credit Card Issuers - Highest Total Volume

U.S. Credit Card Issuers - Highest Purchase Transactions

50 Largest Visa & MasterCard Credit Card Issuers in the U.S. - Ranked by Outstandings

Shares of Purchase Volume for U.S. Credit Card Issuers 2014

Market shares of the 10 largest U.S. credit card issuers are shown based on purchase volume (spending at merchants) for 2014.

1. American Express
2. Chase
3. The Rest
4. BofA
5. Citi

Full access to the Shares of Purchase Volume for U.S. Credit Card Issuers 2014 is available when you subscribe to The Nilson Report.



Samsung Electronics has acquired the Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology of LoopPay. Terms were not disclosed. MST emulates the same magnetic field change that occurs when a mag-stripe card is swiped across a read head. A mobile wallet payment app in a handset can work with MST — a current transmits card data from secure memory to a magnetic read head to initiate a transaction. Merchants don’t have to change their EMV or mag-stripe terminals, software, or IT infrastructure to have their magnetic-stripe readers become receivers for contactless payments from smartphones. 

MST can also transmit tokens that represent a card’s primary account number. Using MST, merchants can create mobile wallets for their mag-stripe private label payment and loyalty cards. 

David Eun is Executive VP, Global Innovation Center at Samsung in Richfield Park, New Jersey, (201) 229-5000,,

By year-end Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge handsets sold in the U.S. will be equipped for Samsung Pay, the company’s new mobile payment service. Samsung, with nearly a 30% share of the smartphone market in the U.S., ranks second behind Apple with almost a 42% share. 

Samsung Pay will support both NFC-based and MST-based payments. NFC payments require merchants to install new card readers. MST payments do not. However, MST can’t make in-app payments. 

Apple Pay, which is NFC-based, will likely be accepted at 1 million card locations by year-end. MST technology will give Samsung Galaxy 6 and 6 Edge handsets access to as many as 8.5 million locations. However, from that number must be subtracted locations where the card reader can’t be accessed by a consumer holding their phone. 

Samsung Pay handsets will support EMVCo-compliant tokenization, and will work with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover and their respective token vault services. Tokens will be used with NFC and MST transactions. Payments will be secured by fingerprint authentication, PIN, and password. 

Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Synchrony Financial, and U.S. Bank have announced participation in Samsung Pay, though in some cases only for NFC or MST. This group includes four of the six largest issuers of Visa and MasterCard credit cards, three of the five largest Visa and MasterCard debit cards issuers, and the two largest issuers of private label cards.

Apple, CurrentC (MCX), Google, and PayPal share a challenge in mobile payments — how to give consumers enough acceptance locations to create adoption of new behavior. In the near term, their respective mobile payment services lack ubiquity of acceptance locations. Because of its MST technology, Samsung Pay has the opportunity to develop new payment behavior, and the loyalty that goes with it, as soon as it launches — assuming it can work as smoothly as NFC-based Apple Pay. Transactions that require multiple steps — login to open a wallet and then use of a PIN, rather than launching payments with a fingerprint only as is the case with Apple Pay, will take longer to execute than by a card.

Will Graylin is Co-General Manager at Samsung Payments in Burlington, Massachusetts, (617) 279-0520,,

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