Should You Put Your Money On Apple Pay?

640px-Apple_Campus_One_Infinite_Loop_SignAre we about to see a cage fight to the death, like we saw in the Blu-ray vs HD DVD battle for supremacy, or will there be peaceful coexistence as the Visa vs MasterCard saga played out may years ago?

That’s the question we’re asking today as we reflect on the announcement that Apple will include a payment system with its new iPhone and iOS. The Silicon Valley giant said that it has already forged partnerships with some 22,000 retailers.

However, by the time all the Apple aficionados had filed out of Flint Center, Wal-Mart and Best Buy were summoning the press to say, “Not so fast Apple, we’re hitching our carts to a different horse—CurrentC.”

Continue with cards?

CurrentC is an app. Consumers load value onto it or hook it up to their bank accounts and use it at retailers who have adopted the system. It is also designed to handle things such as store discount coupons. Apple Pay, on the other hand, is a system that stores the credit and debit cards you already own. American Express, MasterCard and Visa along with every major bank have signed on to Apple Pay.

CurrentC, which is being Beta tested right now, creates QR (quick response) codes while Apple Pay uses near field communication to send data to properly equipped terminals. Apple Pay is supposed to debut in October.

On the face of it, is seems that Apple Pay has the potential to be more convenient for consumers because it uses their existing credit cards. Also, its security technology is somewhat superior. However, many brick-and-mortar stores will have to invest in new terminals.

Current Cost advantage

Also, the company behind CurrentC, MCX, is touting its lower cost to merchants when compared to credit card purchases. Plus, Apple will get 15 cents for every $100 transaction made using its system; merchants have to pay that. This is in addition to the credit/debit card fees banks and processors charge.

Apple will also be working hard to garner acceptance of its payment system online. It will significantly increase security in the e-commerce world. That fact, along with Apple’s substantial influence, will probably cause it to be adopted rather quickly online.

Since everything in the web realm happens quickly, I expect we’ll know fairly soon if there will be a dominant new “secure” payment system. Unless you’re an online retailer, I suggest you sit back for a little while and see how this plays out. E-commerce sites should implement Apple Pay as quickly as is convenient—Apple users are big online spenders and the holiday shopping season is almost here.

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Image: “Apple Campus One Infinite Loop Sign” by Joe Ravi (Shutterstock iStock Dreamstime) – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.