Leave it to the rest of the business world to take a highly secure and amazingly simple process and turn it into a war of ideologies and greed. Apple Pay is good for customers but not so good for greedy merchants who don’t care about their customers.
It’s All About Numbers
Banks and merchants are jumping onto Apple’s new Apple Pay ship on a daily basis. Seemingly, just as many merchants are blocking Apple Pay, or have decided against implementation.
Why? Greed. Money. Greed and money. Regardless, it’s all about numbers, and Apple would have been in a better place if NFC and a secure enclave in Apple’s own A-series CPUs had been started years earlier.
Apple Pay can only be use by owners and users of Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone Plus 6, and though the numbers are already in the millions, it’s not tens of millions and that’s what is needed for enough critical mass of users to move the market.
Worse, some retailers have banded together to create their own secure credit card payment system are actively blocking Apple Pay, even though their system is less secure and far more cumbersome to use.
Why? The aforementioned greed. And money. And greed and money. Merchants using a competing pay system will pay lower fees which means they may more money, even if Apple’s system is more secure, and far easier to use.
The competing pay system getting the most headlines is the one backed by Walmart. It’s called CurrentC, and it requires a cumbersome multi-step process which involves the smartphone camera, QR codes on the cashier screen, bypasses the standard credit card processing companies, and, to no ones surprise– collects data about you.
In other words, it’s good for Walmart and friends far more than it’s good for customers.
What I see coming is another technology war which pits Apple’s simple and elegant and secure system– good for banks (who want security) and customers (who want security and ease of use) against greedy merchants such as Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, and many others who care about the dollar more than they care about their customers.
Why not make NFC-system work well with both? To the greedy merchant, choice is not a good thing. Unless the Walmart’s of the world see the light, this war will be a lengthy war with a long and winding road into a morass of competing standards. Thank goodness for apps. At least we’ll be able to choose which credit card we use to buy in whichever store we visit.