To say Microsoft’s most recent mobile efforts are behind the competition would be putting things nicely. Beyond the app-gap (which seems to be improving slowly), Windows 10 Mobile has a few other smartphone-essential milestones to attain before its mass adoption story can realistically make a case for itself.
Fortunately, Microsoft is fully aware of the hurdles and working towards solutions to address them, albeit slower than some wish to wait for. From building bridges to port over iOS and Android apps to addressing biometric authentication, Windows 10 Mobile is slowly going down its mobile OS checklist.
The next hurdle Microsoft is addressing is its mobile payment solution. Previous versions of Windows Phone offered a wallet feature that was backed by an industry supported payment system. Unfortunately, Google bought that solution and subsequently, the offering ceased to work on Windows Phones. Microsoft has hinted on several occasions that it would respond with a solution for its users, but the company failed to support its statements with any further details on the matter.
However, it looks as though Microsoft is ready to start up the discussion on mobile payments once again. Head of Windows Phone development Joe Belfiore confirmed in an interview with Re/Code at the Lenovo Yoga launch event that, Microsoft is actively working on a solution.
According to the joint Re/Code and The Verge interview,
Microsoft has been laying the groundwork, hiring Amazon payments product leader Iain Kennedy and applying for money transfer licenses in various states. "Windows is going to have a wallet concept," he said. “We’re going to think about the range of payment scenarios.”
Judging from Belfiore’s comments, Microsoft is looking to implement a much more robust and scalable solution than it did with Windows Phone 7 and the wallet app tied to SoftCard. Coupled with Windows Hello authentication, Microsoft may finally have a decent offering when it comes to mobile payments.
As for when the new mobile payment solution should surface, Belfiore said an official announcement would be coming soon. Depending on how deep into development the new Windows 10 Mobile payment offering may be, users could see a formal announcement coincide with the official launch of the Lumia 950 and 950XL.