Apple Card has been recently unveiled that is expected to move the company into the financial services space as an e-payment leader. This will further leverage its NFS-based electronic wallet as well as the mobile payment system. It will be done in partnership with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard.
Apple becoming a card issuer:
Apple is no more going to become just a card enabler; it is going to become a card issuer itself. It is now providing the value-added technology infrastructure for mobile payments. The direct cash back payout into Apple Pay Cash and the financial management features Apple Wallet will be provided exclusively to Apple Cardmembers. The company currently maintains the advantage of having 1.4 billion devices as an active footprint from which 900 of these are iPhones. So, now Apple owns its entire financial ecosystem.
Except for Samsung and Google, all the other firms do not have their own mobile device ecosystem but they provide third-party software and services for iOS and Android. With Google Pay and Samsung Pay, Google and Samsung both have entered the mobile payment space but none of them has the degree of penetration that Apple Pay has. It is because Apple Pay has payment processors such as Square, Verifone, Global Payments, or First data. All competitors of Apple pay are a fractured bunch of the ankle biters and it is not easy for them to think about directly competing in the mobile payment space.
Right now, Apple Card is consumer-focused is the key that differentiates value is-add of a rival alliance. It should be business first-focus that uses the enabling technologies of Microsoft, Google, and Amazon along with their respective clouds.
To speed with MasterCard and Apple:
Any of the engineering efforts are expected to be centred on Apple and MasterCard as it relates to getting Visa and American Express. This seems to be virtually silent in the area short of attaching themselves to everyone’s mobile wallet. The challenge is to push Google to corporate with Microsoft and Amazon on anything. They are expected to go on this alone with their own apps as well as services. They will have their own card and banking partner.
Where are the challenges?
Amazon and Microsoft already have agreed on Cortana and Alexa and they can compete on commercial clouds. Financially they can still attack Apple together and Samsung along with others in the Android space. On a unified payment front, other companies such as Lenovo, Huawei, and LG would be much happier to work with Amazon and Microsoft.
Since it is a very open system that permits sideloading as well as an alternative app store, getting this work to Android would be academic. It would be an issue of how these apps would work on iOS. Using the regular iOS and Apple Watch UXec, a competing wallet that has NFS capabilities would be launched. In a defensive measure, Apple can lock out all the competing wallets from the platform.
This is something that can get them in antitrust hot water especially in EU. The Google Pay existing at the App Store does not have the NFS functionality. That is strictly meant for online and person-to-person transactions just like Apple Pay Cash, PayPal, or Square’s Cash App.
No matter how many difficulties and challenges are, competitive response to Apple Card has to be created when it comes to business. But it is uncertain that Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Samsung take the challenge and rise to this level.