Apple has decided to occupy a timid role in the mobile payment world, albeit for a temporary amount of time. This assumed plan is to allow competitors to compete over market share while Apple performs its own research and learns from its rivals’ initial mistakes. Their entry to the mobile payments world, the Passbook app, is comparatively basic by only storing digital loyalty cards, tickets, and boarding passes but omits the storage of credit card info. Little suggests that this will change in the future.
Apple engineers decided on the Passbook software because it allows the company to profit from each payment made through the service, much like their iTunes business model. By not utilizing a full-fledged wallet app Apple avoids the possibility of becoming a “bank”, which the sheer complexity of project may have required.
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Regardless of their current position, it is unlikely that Apple will ignore the mobile payment market for much longer. With mobile sector projections hitting as high as $600 billion worldwide by 2016, it is clear that at some point, Apple will dive into the market head first.
A hot topic heading into 2012 is the emerging technology coined the “mobile wallet” which Visa intends to capitalize on. Expected to launch sometime in late 2012, V.me is the official brand name for their proprietary mobile wallet.
Mobile wallets refer to applications on smart devices that allow users to store debit, credit and prepaid card information to be used for POS or online payment processing. Visa’s hedging on a similar strategy they currently employ with the various banks using the standard credit card service, the V.me mobile wallet will also be made available to companies such as PayPal, ISIS and Google Checkout along with an open beta development platform.
The advantages of a mobile wallet are that they allow customers to shop and purchase without transferring sensitive payment information over to merchants via a standard debit or credit card terminal. This added level of security, combined with the convenience and flexibility of standard payment processing and the ability to shop easily using a mobile smart device, all add up to why mobile wallets are an emerging trend and gaining momentum.
Visa is hoping this trend will continue to develop and take their existing credit and debit card business in new directions. For more info on this platform by Visa, visit www.v.me.
By Evo Canada Merchant Services