Sorry, Walmart, CVS, Rite-Aid et al. — Apple Pay and NFC have already won

“Place your bets now, consumers. The mobile payment wars have officially begun,” H.O. Maycotte writes for Forbes.

“Will it be CurrentC, a payment method based on a QR code, to be used by the likes of Walmart, CVS, and Rite-Aid, of which these retailers account for $1 trillion in annual sales?” Maycotte writes. “Or, will it be Apple Pay and Google Wallet, payment methods that rely on near-field communications (NFC), a service that had more than 1 million credit cards enrolled within 72 hours of Apple Pay’s launch?”

MacDailyNews Take: Google Wallet is a joke. It should never be placed alongside Apple Pay as some sort of an equal (as Maycotte unfortunately does throughout his article). This was (and still is) perpetrated by far too many in the media with Android.

Elevating something by placing it in sentences as some sort of equal to Apple’s offering (Walt Mossberg did this constantly with Android during his last years at WSJ and earned our scorn. Perhaps he was instructed by his WSJ editors to do so, since he seems to have backed off this wrongheaded stance in his post-WSJ Re/code reviews).

This “false equivalence” ends up deluding the general public and diluting the power of Apple’s products and services. We will point this out when it is attempted with Apple Pay. Just as iPhone has no equal, just as iPad has no equal, and just as Macintosh has no equal, Apple Pay has no equal – certainly not the joke that is Google Wallet.

In just one week, Apple Pay has already facilitated more transactions than all other ‘contact less’ payment methods combined! (Which shows how much of an epic faceplant Google Wallet has been – it was released over three years ago on September 19, 2011.)

“Customer data is crucial for retailers, which is why the era of big data is so drastically transforming that industry. With data, retailers can holistically understand their customer, what drives them to buy, what products they may be looking for discounts on, which competitors may be winning their business during different seasons, sales or the like. With such data, retailers can market personalized incentives to customers, increase engagement and loyalty and ideally become a customer’s ‘Why would I shop anywhere else’ store,” Maycotte writes. “Think of CurrentC as providing retailers the ability to utilize data-driven marketing campaigns. Using CurrentC, retailers will receive your name, email, purchase history and more. The app will then share, or more likely sell, that data with retailers willing to buy in. And, you will agree to all of this in the terms of service, probably without realizing it.”

“Apple Pay doesn’t allow retailers access to this type of data detail, which is likely why so many large chains are boycotting it. Instead, Apple will not share any of the data collected during purchases with retailers. None of it. It isn’t even clear how Apple will use all of that data itself,” Maycotte writes. “In the end, the lines in the sand couldn’t be any clearer. Apple Pay, or any payment utilizing NFC technology, is the safer bet for consumers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Boycott non-cash payment systems from any company that willfully turns off NFC in an effort to block the vastly more secure, much more private, and far easier-to-use Apple Pay service.


      1. Good question. The one near me in Santee, SC accepted Apple Pay for the first two days the service was live. I tired to make a purchase there over the weekend, however, and their NFC functionality had been totally disabled. So I left my purchase on the counter and walked out after explaining politely to the manager that if they were going to intentionally block my preferred method of payment, I would shop elsewhere.

    1. As far as I know there is no NFC chip in the 5s so it will never support ApplePay.
      I don’t understand why Apple didn’t rev the 5s, if only for ApplePay and for those people who didn’t want a larger phone.

      1. Yes, that is correct. I was simply stating that if the 5s could use apple pay, which it cannot until the watch comes out, that would have been great. Actually, there is a 5s case that has a built in NFC chip, and if apple did support it, then 5s users could go that route, instead of waiting to get the watch. But why bother with the watch then? Just get the 6 and be done with it. Me personally, I don’t like the larger form factor of the 6 and 6+, hence with the 5s, we are screwed for Apple pay, unless we buy the damn watch.

      2. *I* don’t want a larger phone. 😛 Got the 5s mere months before the 6 came out, and wasn’t worried about not being able to upgrade soon. NFC would be nice, but I’m okay without it, too.

        1. SJB – I totally get your reluctance for a larger phone. Getting my 6 totally terrified me. Sometime when i picked it up I would think “This thing is a monstrosity! Steve was right!” But, as time goes on, I’m sold. The bigger screen is nice in a LOT of ways. And the room for a larger battery? What an improvement!! I charge every other day now. It’s simply amazing. That being said, I WILL NEVER GET A 6+!

    2. Well it can’t and won’t in the future. Apple pay requires both a new band of wireless called NFC as well as a new secure data chip called the “secure element”. No Apple Pay for you, but perhaps you can download the CurrenC app, and give them your social security number and direct access to your bank account and allow them to track your purchases between different retailers.

  1. MDN: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Right now, what’s good for Google Wallet is also good for Apple Pay, and vice versa. That will obviously change in time, but for now, try to swallow your contempt for Google’s offering and focus on the real enemy: MCX and CurrentC.

    1. Not really. Google still wants your personal data, and it doesn’t have the security of Pay. Apple certainly doesn’t need Google Wallet to be successful for Pay to be successful, and frankly it would be better for Apple if Google Wallet was not successful because it will probably suffer some security breach that brings a black cloud over mobile payment systems.

      1. docwallaby is right. It is good for Google Wallet to be kept alive for now until Current C has a chance to crash and burn in flames. This is to promote the idea that Apple Pay is a monopoly technology, exclusive just to (perceived elitist) Apple users. Subsequently, when it boils down to a horse race between Apple Pay and Google Wallet, Apple Pay will TROUNCE Google Wallet because Android phones can’t step on Apple’s fingerprint and secure enclave proprietary technology.

    2. “Enemy of my enemy is my friend”… That thinking is profoundly flawed in any context.

      Americans wouldn’t be fighting the Taliban for twelve years now had they not applied that thinking during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The reason the Taliban are such an annoyingly persistent threat today is because Americans had trained them and armed them during the 80’s Afghanistan conflict. There are so many similar examples of the American “enemy of my enemy is my friend” foreign policy throughout the world.

      1. It was once thought urgent to form an alliance with Josef Stalin to fight against the Nazis. Hard to argue that that was bad foreign policy at the time.

        It’s akin to choosing the “lesser of two evils”. Either choice, it can be argued from the armchair, was the “flawed” choice.

  2. “Or, will it be Apple Pay and Google Wallet”..
    So, for this person is ok to put the one who set the 72 million mark right besides the one who just make a few hundreds and put them toghether like if they are equal or at least similar?
    Ok, how does this like to you:
    “Macdonald’s and the guy who sell tacos in the flea market made 30 million on sells every month”

    1. Apple Pay and Google Wallet goes like this…

      I’m reminded of a game that took place during Michael Jordan’s time with the Chicago Bulls. It was teammate Stacey King’s rookie year. In that particular game, King scored one free throw while Jordan amassed an impressive 69 points. After the final buzzer, a reporter asked King for his post-game wrap-up. And in a true tribute to teamwork, King said: “I’ll always remember this as the night that Michael Jordan and I combined for 70 points.”

  3. Is MDN and it’s readers a bunch of hypocrites?

    Let’s see if I got this straight. MDN utilizes ads on it’s website directed at me and it’s readers (it’s easy to tell). Yet, all of you are scared of a retailer trying to find an economical way to bring to your attention to a product you may be interested in and at a lower cost.

    You are willing to boycott the retailer but you patronize MDN.

    What don’t I understand?

    My money goes where it is treated the best. For example, like WalMart. At Walmart I can get 90 days of meds for $10. At CVS or Walgreens it costs me $30. Let’s see, how many of us are that stupid to boycott WalMat so we can spend an extra $80/year using our $900 toy phone? I’m not.

    Yet we feel good posting here while Obama sends drones overhead and sends the NSA after us.

    I ask: what am I missing here?

    1. I don;t think it’s the pushing of CurrentC (or CurrentV, as in vaporware), but the active denial of Pay, thus preventing us from using our iPhones to make payments even though they are fully capable of doing so.

    2. We’re not scared of jack shit. MDN doesn’t close off rival payment systems (that are already installed) in order to protect its own payment system. That is what we OBJECT to. If I want targeted ads, I’ll sign up for them or not opt out of them, not be forced into them (MDN allows visitors to opt out of targeted ads, but they are more useful to me than random generic ads, so I have not opted out). Walmart, CVS, etc. are FORCING their solution (which doesn’t even exist yet). Do you get it yet?

    3. hoffbegone, re “What don’t I understand?”
      Answer – A lot.

      If you want to make points, at least
      – base them on Earth, not Bizarro-Earth
      – keep to the topic. Bringing in drones is, well, let’s just kindly call it “not relevant” to the fact of being blocked from using this payment system.

      1. The drone comment is simply another reminder of bad things from this administration. Big deal it is off topic. You can bristle at an election day reminder — but you can’t change the facts, or spin it positive.

        Senate Shift TONIGHT!!!

        Let the REBUILDING of America BEGIN!

    4. And the more complete answer (to the question “What am I missing here?”):

      Your relationship with MDN is certainly fundamentally different from CVS, Rite-Aid or Wal-Mart.

      MDN is offering to you a service free of charge. In order to offer this service, MDN is selling advertising space on their web site, which generates revenue. In this relationship, you are not MDN’s paying customer; you are MDN’s product that they are selling to the paying customers (advertisers). I’m sure you understand this.

      Wal-Mart, CVS and others are retailers. Your relationship with them is not as a product for sale, but as a paying customer. You pay money and buy products from their retail stores. They make profit on those sales from the difference between the price you pay and the wholesale price they paid for that product.

      Now, when retailers stop treating me as a paying customer (which I am) and begin treating me as a product for sale to advertisers, I avoid such a retailer. Most people would call that double-dipping (making profit from sale of some product, then making more profit from sale of my private information; treating me both as paying customer, and as a product for sale).

      So this is what you’re missing.

    5. “$900 toy phone” don’t be so insulting. What’s a better phone in your godlike opinion?

      As for MDN and its (not it’s) readers being a bunch of hypocrites, we are human so by definition, we’re all hypocrites, as established by decades of neurological research. We make exceptions. All the time. That’s what we do.

      1. Well, at least colourmegone has a grip on reality (humans are hypocrites) except he thinks I am “godlike” or gives ‘godlike” opinions. Last I looked, everyone here gives “godlike” opinions, colourmegone just doesn’t like me calling an iPhone a “toy”. My guess is that is what a lot of people use it for: to play games. Am I wrong?

        jpbeads13 is an example of a typical over-emotional poster saying “If you’re willing to hand over your social security number and bank account number to a consortium of not secure retailers than be my guest.”

        The implication by jpbeads13 is that shopper at Walmart, et al, will be forced to use CurrentC and hand over their social security number. 1st) that’s not true. 2nd) big deal. You dont think crooks already have your SSN?

        Regarding 1st): WalMart, et all. will still accept cc and cash and you think the cc companies don’t already have your SSN (again, point 2)

        I can understand boycotting beef (or anything else) when the prices sky-rocketed, but I don’t understand boycotting a retailer trying to implement a less expensive payment system than cc. Since when does everyone here love the credit card companies? Wow! if Apple says jump, everyone jumps. Sounds like 1984 to me.

        Oh yea, the PreDrag, comment. You dont think businesses like Apple don’t double dip? Doesn’t MDN collect email addresses when you post? What do you think MDN uses your email addresses for? Doesn’t Apple collect fees from the carriers even AFTER they sell you your $900 “toy”. Predrag needs to mature a little bit before we can take him seriously.

        Maybe colourmegone can explain reality to you guys (or girls).

  4. Don’t we already do all of this, except for the direct link to the checking account, with store loyalty cards? Once I use one to get the sale price for an item or build up loyalty points, the store already has my buying habits, emails, addresses et al. There are always ways to collect the data, but being a former retailer myself, the 1% to 3% merchant fee is always something the merchant is gong to look to circumvent. Unfortunately it’s a cost of doing business, and a necessary one if you wish to drive sales, as Apple Pay is on its way too fast becoming. Those who don’t reconcile themselves with this will find themselves left in the dust. (QR codes, really?)

  5. It is my impression that the author of this article does not really understand how credit card settlements work. Since Apple Pay works with any retailer that has an NFC compatible Point of Sales terminal without any agreement with Apple, Apple cannot be in the middle of the payment process.

    Normal Point of Sale systems settle with credit cards by sending the customer information (from the credit card), the retailer’s information (their identifier from the credit settlement organization) and the amount of the transaction to the credit settlement organization. The credit settlement organization contacts the bank or credit card company that issued the card to get authorization, which is passed back to the retailer. At the end of each day, the settlement agency has each bank transfer to them all of the money associated with cards from that bank, and in turn, transfers the money on to the bank account of the retailer.

    The credit settlement agency is an aggregation agent that isolates the banks from the retailers and the retailers from the banks. Apple has agreements with the bank and not the credit settlement agency or the retailer.

    The security requirement is simply that what your iPhone provides to the retailer needs to be unique to the transaction in order to prevent the retailer from replaying the transaction to extract additional money. This uniqueness cannot be met with the current magnetic strip credit cards, which allows the retailer to store the card information and replay the transaction at a future date. When the retailer’s Point of Sale system is hacked, the hacker gets the same capability.


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