The rumour mill is being spun by a torrent of leaks and is grinding out all sorts of breathless commentary and hyperbole because pretty much everyone connected with mobile payments and NFC has been waiting for Apple to enter the payments and NFC game for several years.
NFC or something like it for the next iPhone? http://bit.ly/10yba9
— Aden Davies (@aden_76) July 16, 2009
Obviously because most people think Apple will redefine payments and bring about a wave of innovation the like of which the banking world has never seen.
But what happens if they mess it up?
- They seem to be partnering with the old guard (Visa, MC, Amex). Will there be room for the new (BTC, XRP etc)?
- Will it be US only? That would be laughable. They surely can’t launch in all iPhone markets though can they? Surely not China? Partnering with the big 3 will help though
- Will people use it less than Siri? Will it be more Ping than Pingit?
- Will the lose credit card details as easily as they lose nude celeb photos? Not PCI-DSS but more PUSSI-DSS? (sorry for both the crude pun and the lazy observation, they have never lost any credit card numbers and it is yet to be proved they were hacked…brute force failure on find my iPhone aside)
- Will it only work with TouchID therefore alienating a large portion of their customers and making old hardware incompatible? Unthinkable, and BLE is in most of the previous generations of hardware
- Will they have access to payment/transaction data? If not why bother? If so what will they do with it?
- Will the telcos/carriers be involved? If not will they get annoyed and not sell it (HAHAHA)?
I do not think they will screw it up, the other innovation giants have tried and largely failed outside of single markets *cough* Google Wallet *cough* (maybe HCE and tokenisation will change their fortunes and make things more global), but payments and banking is really hard. I think if they do announce it will be baby steps at first and playing nicely with the big boys (they don’t want to be a bank or a money transmitter).
I am just playing the negative card because if Apple does screw it up then does mobile payments join NFC in the trough of disillusionment? Will it stop mobile payments entering the mainstream for another decade? Will it prove the real doubters’ right when they say mobile payments offers no value over cards? The 9th of September should give us an early indication. I really hope I am wrong…I mean all the rumours could just be nonsense and they announce nothing to do with payments at all.