If anyone can bring mobile payments to the mainstream, it’s Apple. Sort of. Apple will lead the way, but given Android was 85% of phones shipped last quarter, Google must follow suit for mobile payments to be truly mainstream. Fortunately, if Apple’s execution works, it will be a simple matter for Google to clone.
The basics of Apple Pay: you scan your credit cards into the iPhone 6 — the phone encrypts the card’s data so nobody can obtain its details — and you then pay via NFC with the phone or Apple Watch at merchants. Touch ID is used to authenticate. This will work at all standard NFC terminals, which is slowly becoming more prevalent.
As you can see, Apple is an enabler, not a disruptor. Apple Pay makes it easier to use the credit cards you already have. This keeps the banks and credit card companies happy because they remain front and center, as opposed to say, Square, which cuts banks out of the value chain.