New in iOS 11.3: approving family purchases using Face ID

Among the more than a dozen new features and enhancements coming to your iPhone and iPad as part of this Spring’s release of iOS 11.3 is an expansion of Face ID on iPhone X, which can finally be used to approve family purchases…. Read the rest of this post here


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The Amazon Prime credit card will start giving 5 percent back on Whole Foods purchases

And non-Prime members with the regular Amazon Rewards Visa card will earn 3 percent back.

The Amazon-ification of Whole Foods continues.

Starting on Tuesday, Whole Foods shoppers who pay with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card will earn 5 percent back at the grocery chain’s U.S. stores.

Amazon customers who aren’t Prime members, but who pay with the regular Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, will earn 3 percent back.

When Amazon purchased Whole Foods for $ 14 billion last year, it promised that the Prime shipping and entertainment membership program would become the loyalty program of Whole Foods, too.

Earlier this month, it started delivering on that promise by offering free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods to Prime members in four cities. This week’s announcement marks another big step, and likely not the last.

The company is hoping that the perks will get more Prime members shopping from Whole Foods, and get existing customers to shop more frequently. Amazon also likely saves some money on credit card fees when Whole Foods customers pay with one of its branded cards than with another credit card.

Amazon has made some other moves since the takeover. In August, Amazon cut prices of some Whole Foods bestsellers by as much as 43 percent. But by December, there were reports of some prices inching higher. The e-commerce giant has also started selling Amazon Echo devices inside Whole Foods stores.

It has also faced challenges. Whole Foods stores have faced food shortages that employees blame on a new inventory-management system.

Amazon cardholders who earn rewards at Whole Foods stores can choose to convert them into a statement credit or can redeem them online to make purchases on Amazon or on other eligible sites.

Amazon customers who have the Amazon Prime Store Card — not the Amazon Rewards Visa credit card — won’t earn money back at Whole Foods. The company would not say why.

Some other credit cards — such as the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card — give as much as 6 percent back for grocery store purchases. But that one, in particular, comes with a $ 95 annual fee.


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Facebook and Apple Work Out Deal for Subscription News Purchases in iOS App

Facebook in October introduced a new feature designed to let publishers sell subscriptions to their news sites directly on Facebook, but the social network could not work out a deal with Apple, preventing the news subscription options from being available on Facebook for iOS.

At issue was Apple’s demand for its standard 30 percent cut of any subscription revenue brought in through the Facebook iOS app, while Facebook wanted all money to go to publishers.

At today’s Code Media event, Facebook executive Campbell Brown said the dispute with Apple had been resolved, which means the subscription service tool will launch on iOS devices on March 1.


Brown did not provide details on the deal that Facebook and Apple worked out, so it is not clear if Apple will be taking a standard 30 percent cut, a lower cut, or no cut at all.

Facebook’s news service does not offer subscriptions purchased directly on Facebook, but instead redirects customers to sign up for a subscription on the publisher website once the article limit has been reached.

Publishers have asked Facebook to change the number of free articles Facebook users can view without a subscription from 10 to 5, a change Facebook will also implement starting on March 1.

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Apple considering whether to offer rebates for full-price iPhone battery purchases

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Apple may offer rebates to people who bought a full-cost replacement iPhone battery to get around throttled performance, according to a newly-published response from the company.
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UK banks block Bitcoin purchases with credit cards

Lloyds Banking Group which owns Halifax, Bank of Scotland, MBNA and Lloyds will block Bitcoin purchases with their credit cards. The restriction is applied because the financial institutions worry that their customers might borrow cash to invest in the cryptocurrency and might end up in debt. Bitcoin price jumped from $ 800 to over $ 18,000 in 12 months, as the public interest grew. The price is currently under $ 8,000, and banks are worried their customers might get caught up in the craze and end up maxing out their credit cards. The same decision was taken last week in the US. Bank…

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