Apple Pay is game-changing for a very specific reason. It is not disruptive. Apple Pay plays nice, nice with the existing payments giants. Nor does it use any amazing new technology.
Apple Pay is game-changing because it will change user behavior. The combination of three things will ensure that waving your phone at a check-out will feel pretty normal:
- Apple gets the user experience right
- Apple is a trusted brand
- Apple has the clout to get partners on board
This is what Apple did with iTunes. Napster blew up the music business model with free and illegal. iTunes reaped the reward with cheap, easy and legal. Bitcoin is blowing up the payments business model with free and outside the system (sometimes legal, sometimes not) and Apple Pay may reap the reward with cheap, easy and legal.
Apple Pay is ideal for physical stores. That leverages the fact that you “don’t leave home without your phone” (remember that Amex ad). Apple Pay does not really add any value in e-commerce, which is where Bitcoin is gaining more traction.
Next up (tomorrow) is Facebook’s Ambitions in Fintech.