Apple Pay winning payments war

Anthony Caruana
30 April, 2015
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Apple-Pay-apple-secure-macworld-australiaWhen Apple pay launched last year, it began with a huge roar. For Australians, it’s important to understand paying at a register in a store is a very different experience in the United States.

In our experience, most retailers still rely on swiping cards with some preferring chip-enabled payments and very few accepting tap-and-go style credit cards. In many cases, purchasers need to sign either an electronic pad or paper receipt.

Apple Pay changed that process and the Apple Watch continues that revolution. When it launched in the US, Apple Pay supported a huge proportion of the US credit card market but it wasn’t everyone. And, some retailers in the US switched off Apple Pay support as they had pre-existing deals with the Mobile Customer Exchange, or MCX, and their CurrentC payments platform.

Earlier this week, during their quarterly earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said major MCX member Best Buy will roll out in-store Apple Pay support later this year. And MCX has now let their CEO Dekkers Davidson go, replacing him with payments veteran Brian V. Mooney.

It’s expected that other retailers will follow Best Buy’s lead. Simply put, although Apple is not the only phone maker to use a SecurCore chip, which is at the heart of the Secure Enclave chip that ensures payment information is handled securely, they are currently the only party that has the combination of good software, relationships with credit card companies and banks and the hardware.

Other parties have tried to get into the payments business – most notably some telecommunications carriers – but none have had all the pieces Apple has assembled.

We’re now seeing the wagons circling around CurrentC. MCX’s exclusivity with members is falling away, Apple is expanding its reach with banks and credit card companies, iPhone sales continue to rise and the Apple Watch offers consumers another simple payment tool. It’s opposition is fragmented, rooted in less secure technology for the most part and retailer, rather than customer, focussed.

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