The mobile payment space just got a little more crowded.
Microsoft on Tuesday introduced a new “tap to pay” feature for Microsoft Wallet, giving Microsoft phone users the ability to pay with their handsets at checkout in retail stores.
According to Microsoft, the service will initially be offered on Microsoft’s Lumia 950, 950 XL and 650 smartphones. The feature will work at more than a million retail locations in the United States, including anywhere users see a contactless payment symbol or Microsoft Wallet logo at the point of sale, Microsoft said.
The tap to pay feature will initially be available to members of Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program, which allows customers to preview upcoming features. Microsoft said the feature will be generally available later this summer.
Microsoft said its Wallet app gives customers the ability to store as many credit or debit cards as they wish, allowing them to choose at checkout which card to use. Microsoft Wallet also allows customers to store their rewards and membership numbers, the company said.
The company said Microsoft Wallet currently has partnerships with both Visa and Mastercard, as well as several major U.S. Banks including Bank of America, Chase Bank, and U.S. Bank.
Microsoft is the latest device maker to introduce a contactless payment option.
Apple led the way in October 2014 with its introduction of Apple Pay with iOS 8.1. Apple Pay, which uses NFC technology, drew around 12 million users by February of this year.
At its WorldWide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple said it is planning to bring Apple Pay compatibility to the web. The new feature will allow customers to make purchases on retail sites using their phone’s fingerprint sensor to authenticate the transactions.
Google, which previously scrapped an initial abortive foray into mobile payments with Google Wallet, returned to the space in May 2015 with the introduction of Android Pay. The NFC-based service launched in late 2015, and had drawn about five million users by February.
In August 2015, Samsung announced its own mobile payment system, dubbed Samsung Pay. Unlike Apple Pay, Samsung Pay employs both NFC and magnetic stripe technologies, allowing it to be accepted almost anywhere credit cards are taken.
Earlier this week, Samsung announced Samsung Pay has handled more than $1 billion in transactions since its launch. The service, which also had approximately five million users as of February, is now available in the United States, South Korea, China, Spain, Singapore and Australia.
But these companies aren’t playing for peanuts. Worldwide contactless payments are expected to reach $95 billion per year by 2018, up from less than $35 billion in 2015, according to a Juniper Research forecast.