CEO Cook wants Apple to be catalyst for cashless society

“Apple will celebrate the iPhone’s 10th anniversary next year, but in chief executive Tim Cook’s view, the technology is anything but mature,” Waichi Sekiguchi reports for Nikkei. “The Nikkei Asian Review caught up with Cook aboard a bullet train last week and asked him about artificial intelligence, his plans for Asia, and the experience of succeeding Steve Jobs.”

“Cook, who was visiting Japan for the first time as CEO, said Apple will open a research and development base in Yokohama, near Tokyo, later this year. The facility — the first of its kind outside the U.S. — will develop AI and other technologies. Cook described it as a center for ‘deep engineering’ and said it will be ‘very different’ from the R&D base Apple plans to build in China,” Sekiguchi reports. “‘I cannot tell you the specifics,’ he said. ‘The specific work is very different.'”

“Beyond that, Cook suggested his company wants to use Apple Pay, the iPhone and the Apple Watch to promote a cashless society. ‘We would like to be a catalyst for taking cash out of the system,’ he said. ‘We don’t think the consumer particularly likes cash,’ Sekiguchi reports. “Smartphones are 9 years old, he noted. ‘We are not even teenagers yet. We just got going.’ Given the promise of AI and other new technologies, Cook said, ‘I think there is an incredible future ahead.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Having identified our Apple Pay merchants and, therefore, patronizing them to the exclusion of non-Apple Pay merchants, it’s rare that we use cash anymore.

Apple CEO Cook meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – October 14, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook meets Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto during Japan visit – October 13, 2016
Apple to launch iPhone for Japan with FeliCa tap-to-pay capability – August 26, 2016
Apple Pay coming to over 200,000 websites, not just in-store or in-app – September 14, 2016


    1. Cash is pretty much anonymous, and makes transactions as anonymous as well… as they should be. Nothing else does this.

      And that is something that neurotically paranoid authoritarians just can’t abide.

      1. Actually, I believe Apple Pay is completely anonymous as well (one reason some large retailers have fought it – they want to collect information on you). The other e-payments on the market are not anonymous. Apple Pay is also secure – if someone steals your phone, they cannot use your Apple Pay, nor is your credit card info stored on the phone. If someone steals your wallet, they can use both your cash and your cards (until you cancel them).

        1. I agree you are completely anonymous to the retailer (unless you use a loyalty card, then you’ve just blown the anonymous part) but the transaction itself is visible to the bank that owns the credit card that you charged the transaction on. So if needed, the authorities can subpoena the bank to see when and where you spent your money even if they don’t know what exactly you purchased. As long as your epayment system is based on credit cards any belief that it is on the same level of anonymity as cash is impossible. I suppose if Apple followed Sony example and creates a banking branch and you used their CC to make your purchases you might be more anonymous but still have the same subpoena situation hanging over you.

  1. Recently I’ve found that many places who accept Apple Pay don’t even know it. In the drive-through at Chick-fil-A the other day I had to explain to the manager, “Hand me the POS terminal and I will pay with my phone.”

    He was perplexed but agreed.

    When it worked he said, “That’s so cool! I think you’re the first person that has ever done that.”

    I probably was but I knew for a fact it had been activated at Chick-fil-A weeks earlier.

    Widespread adoption will require an expansive and expensive PSA campaign.

  2. Yeah Apple Pay is nice, but it hasn’t altered my use of cash at all – because I’ve not used cash for years. I only ever paid by credit or debit card before (apart from one car park that took coins only and was cheaper than others nearby) and as such Apple Pay has just meant I’m doing the same but with my phone. Cash is all but dead anyway.

    1. Correct, we must always have some form of payment that represents actual value. Granted that paper money and even most coins have only the value that we ascribe to them, in other words, you can buy something that you at least can exchange for what you accept as having an agreed upon value.

      The same is technically true of “numbers on a computer” but they are much more easily manipulated. Of course, you can manipulate the supply of any commodity, but reality eventually sorts that out. Not so of something that really only represents keystrokes on a computer.

      1. This is a legitimate concern in the United States, and it’s not about getting caught for doing something illegal. This country has a history littered with episodes of government overreach, internal spying, and illegal cracking down on dissidents. This isn’t really debatable, so if you don’t agree, please start by reading up on McCarthyism, Watergate, Total Information Awareness, and NSA bulk spying.

        Whichever side of the political aisle you are on, imagine a tyrant with Donald Trump’s temperament and disdain for rules, on the opposite side from you, ordering the NSA to track your every purchase, donation, text message, and phone conversation. Now imagine that tyrant in a cashless society, with access to your every transaction, cracking down on any association with radicalism in the minority party, even indirect, and beginning to jail or disappear suspected dissidents.

        No thank you. I’ll keep cash for a while.

        1. ” imagine a tyrant with Donald Trump’s temperament and disdain for rules,” With Hillary and Bills’ 30 years of international experience in influence peddling, just imagine what THEY can do. It would make Donald Trump like like a piker

    2. I hate to rain on your government conspiracy parade, mjmj666, but our society is already mostly cashless. Cash represents a relatively small percentage of overall transactions. If you are worried about being controlled, then it is already too late and a little cash won’t solve the problem.

      1. heh, conspiracy parade. I just stated a rule, not a description of what is happening now; you did that. Weird. I actually don’t think we are in a totalitarian society, but I also don’t think it’s completely impossible.
        Think of cash as an escape valve, a tool of a free citizenty, a protection from the eventuality that you state is already here, Mr. gov’t conspiracy parader! nyah nyah

      2. I don’t know if the stats show we are mostly a cashless society (USA).

        Does not matter. Cash speaks worldwide and it is anonymous, free of computer tracking.

        I disagree, a little or a lot of cash will DEFINITELY solve the perceived problem in your mind.

        Nice pipe dream …

  3. The problem is that a lot of (smaller) retail merchants have ‘middle men’ companies that supply and configure hteir NFC terminals, to their ignorance… many merchants don’t even know they have ApplePay capabilities and some that do, are told they have to get the customers to sign a receipt…

    apple should subsidize an ApplePay education and drive and also supply NFC terminals through merchants they trust to implement ApplePay properly and efficiently.

  4. Paying by credit or credit card ( and now by smartphone ) is much more widespread in the US than in most other countries, even though the technology employed had somewhat lagged the rest of the world ( which had been using things like chip & PIN cards for many years ).

    I think that one of the main reasons is that in the US, sales tax is added at the checkout and in many cases, a customer won’t know the exact amount of cash to be needed until the assistant tells them. In such circumstances, it’s much easier to pay by plastic than to root around looking for notes and coins while the sales assistant waits.

    In most other countries, sales tax is already added to the displayed price and so it’s easy to work out what you will be paying and to have an appropriate amount of money ready in your hand.

    Having said that, I’m noticing many more places in the UK offering Apple Pay, but the banks only allow it to be used for relatively low value transactions which limit’s it’s usefulness.

  5. Thanks but no thanks / I use credit cards but I still want cash available for use .we have enough government overreach , we don’t need them involved in everything in our lives

  6. Money is, from itself, already a freedom restritive element.
    Now, imagine the situation if each person will be completely dependent and controlled by a totally normalizing society organization!… Orwell: Here we come along!

  7. Ironic how many people say they want government-printed folding money & minted coins so they can keep the evil government out of their commercial lives.

    I would be much more concerned about the unscrupulous big data industry that does nothing but snoop on everything electronic that you do. Don’t think Apple isn’t in just as deep as Google, Amazon, and hundreds of other ad agencies and data miners….

    1. I dispute that. Apple deliberately made personal security (privacy) a successful selling point, one that strongly differentiates their products from the rest of the competition. They developed the secure enclave and Apple Pay and Touch ID to make electronic payments safe. They do not do data mining of customer data without explicit permission from the user, and even that is anonymised through their acquired differential privacy technology. Google for one is monstrously different in its business model. It doesn’t sell trust; it sells convenience; that’s a Faustian bargain and no mistake.

      1. Just because Apple Pay doesn’t track your purchase doesn’t mean it isn’t tracked by others. Apple Pay still depends on credit cards as the core payment system. Making the contents of the transaction anonymous is one step but you still get the purchase recorded in your card statement which can be mined at least by the bank owning the credit card. If you use loyalty cards you just defeated all security regarding the contents of your purchase that Apple Pay may have provided otherwise. That most Apple Pay users may be ignorant of that and Apple keeping silent of the loophole may be a problem for the image that Apple Pay has for those people.

        1. I don’t dispute the finer points of tracking throughout networks. I dispute the insinuation that Apple is like all the rest, interested mainly in your data. They’re not.

          1. I can agree that Apple may not be interested in the details of your personal data. Only in making easier for you to acquire, and store all kinds of personal data leaving the allowing/hiding/handling of it to the user for good or bad. Though in more cases than not the user is prevented from working with that data easily outside of the preset ‘formats’ Apple allows.

  8. Cash has been used since the beginning of time all around the globe.

    Nice thought Tim, but the best thing about using cash — the transaction is anonymous!

    No tracking by financial or government institutions. Consider the infrastructure already in place for cash registers worldwide be it a behemoth store selling a gold Apple Watch or a small mom and pop outpost in a rural area selling soda or bait.

    Apple Pay will gain ground in urban areas around the world. But it will never completely replace cash 100%.

    Much like we can’t eliminate war, poverty, hunger and unemployment worldwide … get real, Tim.

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