14 Expert Opinions from the Industry about Apple Pay

The internet is abuzz with news around Apple Pay. At Let’s Talk Payments, we are covering all the important current affairs on Apple Pay. We believe that the industry dialogue and opinion of various experts on Apple Pay matters a lot and hence we bring to you the following…

Here’s what they think of Apple Pay:

Marc L. Andreessen, Co-Founder of Andreessen Horowitz

As told to Bloomberg: What we say from our [Andreessen Horowitz’s] standpoint is that, in the long run, bitcoin is by far the most innovative and radical thing. It’s the thing that will actually have a big impact over 20 years, but Apple Pay is the thing that’s going to have a big impact in the next three years. And the combination of those two is going to cause enormous change.

Apply Pay is innovative, but in a way it's very consistent with the status quo. If anything, its big selling point is it doesn't require massive structural change. Bitcoin is truly radical, Cryptocurrency, more broadly, is a truly radical, truly revolutionary, fundamental breakthrough in computer science, completely different way to do transaction processing, potentially a replacement for a very large amount of the status quo, but has the big chicken-and-egg challenge.

Charles Scharf, Visa CEO

We’re excited about Apple Pay but for us as we think about what’s going to be coming into the marketplace, it’s only the beginning. We’re excited about our participation (in Apple Pay). We believe it’s good for consumers, it’s good for merchants and it’s good for our industry. Our focus has been on security, scalability and inclusiveness. There’s been much talk about disruption in payment and what it means for us. Most of the disrupters are great enablers for consumers, merchants and our industry. Apple is the first great example.

Ajay Banga, MasterCard President and CEO

Whatever Apple Pay's effect, it is not a competitor. Digital is a wide space that has many aspects to it. There's a lot going on in the Apple Pay space. I don't think that Apple Pay conflicts with stuff that we're doing in mobile. The overall migration away from cash payments is the main opportunity created by Apple Pay and other digital payment initiatives.

Peter Thiel, Co-founder of PayPal

It's possible that Apple Pay will catch on. But I always think the best innovations ... you have some subset of users where you have a dramatic improvement. I think these sort of 'inch deep, mile wide' innovations, in aggregate they would add a lot of value, but it's very hard to drive adoption. Most payment systems work reasonably well even though we can imagine ways to make them better. But it's often the case that it's very hard to get from things that are 'pretty good' to 'better', because the gradient is just not steep enough to drive adoption.

Atif Rafiq, McDonald’s SVP and Global Chief Digital Officer

Apple Pay enhances our global digital strategy and is a win for McDonald’s customers who desire greater speed and ease. Apple’s transformative mobile payments service brings a new level of convenience to McDonald’s customers, allowing them to instantly pay and stay, or pay and be on their way. Our support of mobile payment options further demonstrates our commitment to be an influential leader in the retail digital space.

Jerry Hubler, VP at Michigan Merchant Services

The Apple Pay is a good idea. But who’s going to pay the cost? Try to tell that to the mom and pop on the corner that they have to pay $500 for a receiver so they can take Apple Pay, and then they’ve got to pay more to take it.

Jim Smith, Head of Virtual Channels for Wells Fargo

'As our customers live their increasingly digital lives, we continue to evaluate new innovative technologies, prioritizing payment safety, quality of service and ease of use for our customers. Apple Pay is a strong offering in those areas, and we look forward to giving customers another way to manage their money where they are. For many, that's on a mobile device.'

Jim Maholic, Vice President at Hitachi Consulting

As told to CIO magazine: There are a certain number of affluent customers who use the iPhone 6. If one store offers Apple Pay and the other doesn’t, those well-heeled customers are more likely to walk in the Apple Pay door. Now that I’ve got that customer, it’s harder for somebody to steal that customer. The credit card isn’t transmitted during the transaction, and the retailer will not have the credit card number in its systems. As a CIO, I would feel better if I have more customers using Apple Pay, because I haven’t exposed their numbers to risk.

Mike Abbott, CEO of Softcard

As cited to forbes: I am thankful for Apple Pay. We faced an industry that has been fragmented, confused and riddled with inaction. Apple Pay has gotten rid of fragmentation. We can now agree on NFC, we can move on and build this industry together.

Tom Noyes, Managing Partner of Starpoint LLP

The Apple Pay buy button is only available within approved iOS 8 applications (on iStore). This means that Apple will be focusing within the rather small in-app sub-segment of overall mCommerce market. This means that Apple Pay will have minimal impact on Paypal, Visa Checkout/Cybersource , Masterpass, Checkout by Amazon, Google Wallet or any of the other ecommerce payment specialists .. …at least not in 2015 (estimate is $5-10B max). Apple is the dominant mobile platform for purchase even though it represents only 18% of handsets), accounting for over 70% of purchases.. wow talk about a great consumer base!! Of course this in app only could all change in 2 ways: 1) IF most retailers shift sales to APPs (like Target and Amazon) that exceed the functionality of browser based experience (ie App vs HTML 5), and #2 if Apple creates an eCommerce Apple Pay Button for the Safari Browser.

Karen Webster, CEO of Market Platform Dynamics

Apple Pay needs merchants more than the other way around. While it’s hard to argue with the success of Apple Pay’s launch thus far but for Apple Pay to be truly successful, Apple needs to get merchants on board. It’s simply assumed that if enough consumers come storming into the stores waving iPhone 6’s wanting to use Apple Pay to pay, that merchants will enable it or else be subject to the wrath of consumers who don’t like being denied using their favorite payment method in their favorite stores. There needs to be something about Apple Pay — here in the U.S. and everywhere else in the world — that will make enough consumers want to use it. Something that adds enough value to their shopping experience that, in turn, delivers enough value to merchants that they will want to support it.

Brian Roemmele, Payments Expert

As cited on Quora: Apple Pay is about: speed, efficiency, convenience, trust, security, fashion, ego, lust and fun. Today with Apple Pay I see the manifestation of just how amazing Apple’s design logic works. They did not go about disrupting payments but looked at what was not woking correctly today and on into the future. What we see in ApplePay is a brilliantly simple system that tackles a deceptively difficult problem: how does a smart phone securely pass on the payment card details to the existing merchant system? ApplePay is a first generation product and as such will be vastly improved over time. Even as a first generation it is magical to use.

Amit Goel, Co-Founder of Let’sTalkPayments

What is mind blowing is that in just the U.S., with only a handful of merchants where it will work and in just 3 days, Apple Pay had reached 1 million activations. It shows that people want this to work. Hopefully retailers will see this and get on board or get left behind. The retailers who are not joining the mobile wallet initiatives like Apple Pay are making a mistake according to me. Customers adopting mobile wallets would eventually start asking questions at the point-of-sale if they see no such services.

Aditya Khurjekar, Co-founder of Let’s Talk Payments

After all the other failed attempts at becoming 'the Apple of Payments', looks like Apple itself will become the 'the Apple of Payments'.

We recently published an article on estimates and numbers around Apple Pay.