In September 2016 Apple Pay came to support the world’s largest public transit system. It happened through the integration with Japan’s FeliCa and gave Apple Pay access to 160 million daily transactions.
This, along with many other milestones don’t get a lot of attention. Apple Pay is in what could be considered an attritional competition with non-consumption. There are no decisive battles won or lost, only the relentless pressure to make progress against a reluctance to change.
I don’t know why but all the recent Apple Pay news coverage wraps everything in war metaphors. Witness the recent Australia bank ‘battle’ titled “Apple Pay may have won the battle but it may not win the war.”
As Horace points out payments infrastructure is extremely complicated and messy with many moving pieces: banks, credit card companies, merchants, point of sale terminal technology, smartphone platforms and last but not least, the customer. So many choices.
Decisive battles make thrilling headlines but the reality of the payments ‘battle’ will be a long and dull slog.