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Apple Closing The Gap On Samsung With Apple Pay (Yes, You Read It Correctly)

by User Not Found | Sep 10, 2014

I almost titled this post “Apple conceded defeat”, but that would be too much of a tease, as teasing as when my colleague in the Wireless Device Strategies team called the new Apple Pay “revolutionising”.

When it comes to mobile payment, Apple has steadfastly stayed outside of the NFC camp,  until the launch of NFC-based Apple Pay, which has become a de facto admission that NFC is a better solution, despite its  cosy relationship with Bluetooth Low Energey (BLE).

Samsung, among others, has been championing NFC based mobile payment for quite a while, both through partnering with mobile operators and promoting its own service by working with the financial services.  It also beat Apple to first use fingerprint reader as payment authentication method, through its partnership with PayPal, making it the leader among handset vendors in rolling out mobile payment.

However, to compare with Samsung’s earlier initiatives, Apple Pay has its own advantages.  To start with, as we said in our report to evaluate Apple’s content and service strategy, the half a billion (and increasing) credit cards associated with iTunes accounts can immediately provide Apple with a potential user base that no other OEM with similar ambition can compete.  And this is exactly what Apple does.  Additionally , Apple Pay is also supported on the newly launched Apple Watch, making the user experience more complete, though Apple has not released too much detail as how this is implemented, as there is no TouchID on the Watch.

Meanwhile, Apple Pay’s limitations are also obvious, for example it’ll only be available in the US at the beginning.  Mobile operators’ reaction to Apple Pay will be another interesting area to watch.

At the end of the day, the entry of Apple Pay is good news to NFC payment, and to mobile payment in general.  We’ll publish an “Insight” dedicated to this topic in the coming days which clients will have access to.  Also, it’s time we updated our mobile payment forecast, I’m afraid.


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