Speaking at an event organized by CNN, Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, noted that Apple’s interest in cryptocurrencies continues to grow significantly.
“We’re watching cryptocurrency. We think it has interesting long-term potential, but we’re primarily focused on what consumers are using today”,
commented Bailey at the meeting.
Apple does not allow the use of dedicated cryptocurrency mining software within the AppStore but has given the green light to wallets and all those platforms, such as exchanges, that allow their users to trade, including Coinbase, Binance, Eidoo, Bitfinex and many others.
Apple’s entry into the payments industry took place in 2014 thanks to Apple Pay. One year later, Samsung made the same move.
Data from 2017 show that 36% of iPhone users have actually set up Apple Pay on their phones and 87 million people use it worldwide. This is nothing compared to the number of WeChat, which is estimated to have more than 600 million customers with 400 million of them actively using the company’s digital payments service.
In reality, no official information is released from Cupertino about the performance of these types of products, so there are no 100% reliable statistics.
Apple is not and will never be the first tech company to undertake such a path. Twitter has stated that they do not want to create their own cryptocurrency, yet Facebook, on the other hand, is going to launch Libra in 2020 along with other companies tied in what is called the Libra Association.
“This would be a major shot in the arm for crypto if Apple headed down this path. Given where Apple strategically is focused, a move into crypto could make sense given its sights on further monetizing its consumers over the coming years”.
told CNN Business Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities.
Jennifer Bailey noted that beyond cryptocurrencies, there are still several problems within Apple Pay and more generally, digital payments. The first thing is that in America there isn’t the infrastructure that is present within Europe, nor will there be in the next few months:
“When you go to Europe, they bring you a wireless terminal. You can tap to pay,” she said. “We see that happening in the US too, [but] it’s still taking some time”.
In addition, Bailey argues there is a completely erroneous perception that paying by mobile phone is less secure than paying by physical card:
“It’s the complete opposite, and a lot of education is needed to help consumers understand”.
Recently, Apple announced its physical card: Apple Card. It will be easily configurable and integrated into the iPhone and Apple Watch, and there will also be the possibility to request it physically. It’s a white card, without any numbers, made of titanium fibre and in full Apple style, although there are already some rumours that exposure to certain materials could damage it aesthetically.