Apple More Actively Pursuing Mobile Payments

June 8, 2017         By: Mike Dautner

It’s been rumored to be coming for a long time, and Apple’s addition of peer-to-peer (P2P) service to Apple Pay is likely to be a big hit with users eager to get hands on the capability.

This move also signals a greater interest in mobile payment in general, and has many paying closer attention to just what Apple’s going to do.

The details of Apple’s further move into mobile payments will come as a shock to banks, reports suggest, who have made a lot of concessions over Apple Pay’s lifetime to get the system available to their customers.

The newest reports suggest that the P2P operation can draw funds from Apple Pay, but the target of said funds doesn’t actually need to have Apple Pay to receive these funds.

Instead, reports note, users can have an Apple Pay Cash card, which is a prepaid account offered by Green Dot. Such a move could be a bit of a blow to the banks who got in with Apple Pay early, especially if Apple decides to expand that capability.

When Apple Pay was first getting started back in 2014, banks were eager to get in on potential marketing edge by being associated with Apple’s mobile wallet operations. If Apple decides to open up this Green Dot connection, meanwhile, that could take a lot of the prestige out of the picture, and remove a lot of the reason to stay connected to Apple.

Especially considering that companies like Google and Samsung—among a growing host of others—have been offering mobile payment options that are a match for Apple Pay in the usability category and even a little better in the expense category.

While Apple’s expansion in mobile payments is likely to help it retain users and encourage them to put the service to use—P2P has long been a desired feature—Apple has to be a little careful not to open up the field too much to make it no longer worth the banks’ time.

After all, some banks have been looking to bring out their own in-house solutions for some time now, and if Apple degrades the stock just a little too much, that might tip a few scales toward internal, sparking new competitors where Apple really doesn’t need them.