Since Apple unveiled its mobile payment solution, Apple Pay, five months ago, there has been no shortage of debate of its value relative to other payment systems.
Indeed, Apple’s solution has gotten people to think more about payment systems and inspired a payments arms race with competing solutions. Merchants and consumers are ultimately the winners.
Speaking to Trish Regan of Bloomberg, Credit Suisse’s James Disney explained that it’s still early on for Apple Pay and it holds much future potential.
Disney is the co-head of Credit Suisse’s software investment banking unit, and has overseen over $50 billion in M&A activity and 50 IPOs. He continued:
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“There really has been more change in the last 4-5 years in payments than there has been in the last 4-5 decades. And certainly the last 4-5 months with Apple Pay. When they flipped that switch on, it really brought the attention of people in the mainstream: what was mobile payments- your ability to use your phone to pay for things in the store.”
Regan then mentioned one of Apple Pay’s potential competitors, Bitcoin, and pointed to more recent investment in the digital currency space from figures like Tim Draper. Said Disney:
“Look, they’re all painted with the same broad brush. It is different. That’s a digital cryptocurrency, the same way the US dollar is a currency or the euro is a currency. Can it be used for with a mobile device to pay for things in a store? It certainly could. I think it’s still early days. I think it’ll be hard to see a lot of impact on Apple’s earnings with Apple Pay.”
Apple Pay critics have argued that the system, albeit a more secure way of transacting, is simply an additional layer on top of the existing credit card and banking networks. Bitcoin, however, removes these layers and their associated fees from the equation.