Tim Cook: Apple Pay Is Already the Leader in Contactless Payments

Nathan Ingraham, reporting from the WSJD Live event:

It’s only been a week since Apple Pay made its debut, but apparently the launch has been successful thus far. Speaking at the WSJD Live event, hosted by The Wall Street Journal, Cook said that Apple is already the leader in “contactless” payments, “more than the total of all the other guys.” Within 72 hours, Apple apparently activated one million cards, and we presume it’s only gone up significantly since then.

One week, and Apple is already the market leader — using the same systems that Google Wallet and whatever else is out there have been using for years. And in retail locations (as opposed to within apps) it only works with one-month-old iPhone 6 devices.

I’ve seen people arguing that Apple hasn’t really brought much to the table here, that Apple Pay is nearly the same as Google Wallet except for Touch ID. I think it’s nonsense to dismiss the importance of Touch ID (and the secure element that goes along with it) to the success of Apple Pay. But even if we concede for the sake of argument that there’s nothing technologically novel involved with Apple Pay, the company still deserves enormous credit for making a breakthrough.

It’s just marketing, and Apple’s ability to let their users know about new features like Apple Pay, and their ability to partner with a bunch of nationwide chains right off the bat. There’s no “just” about any of that. Getting users to know about new features is not easy. Getting partners on board is not easy. Selling tens of millions of brand-new phones in the first month is not easy.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. These NFC terminals have been in stores for years, and never became popular. Then Apple Pay went live one week ago, and the iPhone is already the market leader.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

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