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A more interesting use for Apple Pay

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry | Sept. 12, 2014
Did you know Apple announced some phones this week? Did you know Apple announced a watch this week?

But this isn't just about Big Media. I know several independent bloggers who have a PayPal tip jar on their blog and make a few hundred dollars from it. I wouldn't be surprised that if people didn't have to go through PayPal's awful payment flow, they might donate twice or even triple the amount. That goes from paying you a cup of coffee once in a while to actually being a noteworthy supplemental income. If more indie bloggers can make a living from their writing, we all benefit.

It's also probably been harmful for ecommerce. Ecommerce is certainly doing better than media, but it's still the case that in ecommerce, a change in conversion rates of a couple points can boost your revenue by double-digit figures (and your margin even more, given often high fixed costs), and making payments even more intuitive certainly might deliver that increase in conversions. Who knows what business models that weren't viable before would become so? 

Another industry that would obviously benefit would be online games. 

The point is this: Apple Pay doesn't have to stop at being a mobile wallet. Every newer version of Mac OS X brings more and more integration between Mac OS and iOS, which makes sense both from a user perspective and from a strategic perspective (use your phone userbase to sell computers and vice versa, lock people into your ecosystem). It probably won't be long until Apple Pay isn't just integrated in Apple Passbook, but also in Safari — both mobile and on the desktop. That would instantly give the service hundreds of millions of users. Which, in turn, would mean that a lot of online retailers would be interested in integrating it.

The point isn't that PayPal should be worried (although it definitely should). The point is that we see a glimpse of, finally, a pleasant online payment experience. And that not only will this make us happier, but, if it happens, it will actually reverberate in untold ways and change a lot of the internet as we know it.


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