Apple’s announcement about new Apple Pay capabilities at its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco earlier this week was both extremely exciting and utterly disappointing news at the same time.
The exciting news – You can finally use Apple Pay to make purchases on websites!
The disappointing news – You can finally use Apple Pay to make purchases on websites… only in the Safari browser and requires you to have your iPhone or Apple Watch nearby and, oh yeah.. by the way…Apple did not release a P2P capability for Apple Pay.
Long overdue, Apple Pay has finally been extended to the World Wide Web. In its announcement, Apple has revealed that it will provide the tools for developers to add an Apple Pay Button to the checkout process on ecommerce websites. It will sit alongside other simplified, fast checkout buttons such as PayPal (been there for years), Visa Checkout (at least two years and counting), MasterPass, etc. In order to see the level of competition Apple Pay will face in the online/mobile web environment, you only need to go to the Buy.Com website (owned by Rakuten) where you can see PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard buttons all sitting next to each other, competing for the same faster, frictionless consumer checkout experience. Apple is simply proposing to add one more button to an already crowded space.
The media has heralded this new capability as a “PayPal Killer” that will quickly turn PayPal into a shrinking violet. In reality, we all know that it won’t deliver on the media hype. First, PayPal has been in this game for years. Second, PayPal recently added the “One Touch” capability over the last 6-12 months, meaning it is not standing still. Finally, the beta trials of “Pay with Venmo” for in-app payments clearly means that PayPal is not too worried about Apple Pay.
What the world was looking for at the WWDC, at least from the Payments point of view, is that Apple would provide a P2P money transfer capability from Apple Pay. While we do laud Apple opening up iMessage to 3rd party P2P apps such as Square Cash, but it’s not enough. We need Steve Cook to step out from behind Steve Jobs’ shadow and drive the company to new heights. Since iPhone and iPad sales are both down, as well as the iTunes store suffering from Spotify’s competition, Apple needs to hit the ball out of the park. Venmo has taken the world by storm with its mobile P2P capability that few are able to compete against. In fact, many FIs have ceded P2P to Venmo with their inabilities to figure out how to get to market effectively.
The world needs Apple Pay to have P2P capabilities before that market is locked up. So Tim Cook, put on Steve’s black turtle neck and start reaching for the stars. Enable Apple Pay with P2P.