In the US, Apple Pay has gone where no mobile payment system has gone before, capturing a significant portion of market share within a few short months.
But as the industry matures, the international markets are shaping up to be the future battleground. Unlike the launch of an iPhone, iPad or watch, which only require a receptive consumer market, Apple Pay requires the development of relationships with local banks, one by one.
Morgan Stanley technology analyst Andrew Humphrey said, “Every market will have different local players, different partnerships, different local standards, different economics, different levels of cooperation.”
Earlier this year, the launch of Apple Pay ran into headwinds in the UK due to the concerns of local banks over the collection of private information. In China, analysts have pointed out that Apple Pay would have a steep uphill battle unseating the heavily entrenched AliPay and Tencent’s WeChat Wallet.
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Google and Samsung have also revived the competitive dimension of the market.
Banks and credit cards companies are also reportedly looking for ways of developing their own equivalents, fearing the potential impact of a dominant Apple Pay on their businesses.
But other analysts have assessed that Apple’s sheer weight and size will give it enough momentum to force its way into difficult markets.
There are also potentially hybrid models, such as that envisioned by OneBit, where credit cards could work with Bitcoin and advanced by technologies like NFC.