But aside from the technical differences, Apple is in a unique
position due to its business model. It doesn’t want or need to
track transactions. It doesn’t want or need to be the payment
processor. It isn’t restricted by carrier agreements, since it
fully controls the hardware. Google, although first to the market
by a matter of years, is still hamstrung by device manufacturers
and carriers. Softcard is hamstrung by the usual greed and idiocy
of mobile phone providers. PayPal has no footprint on devices.
This is a long-term investment by Apple, and possibly one of the
most important since it first built the iTunes Store. Apple is
putting its muscle behind improving the user experience of making
payments, and using that to sell more devices. It won’t make
much directly from Apple Pay now. But as more people use supported
devices and push more merchants to support the user experience,
odds are that those small per-transaction fees will grow into a
significant source of revenue.