retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that in addition to introducing new iPhones and a new smart watch yesterday, Apple yesterday "entered the daunting world of consumer finance with a new mobile payment system built to resist the relentless attacks of cybercriminals who have ravaged the nation’s retail industry."

As soon as Apple Pay was announced, Whole Foods said it would participate in the service.

The Post writes that Apple Pay "could be a bigger bet" than either of the other two, "given its potential to shake up two industries — retail and finance. Both are central to the U.S. economy but have struggled to adapt to technological change and especially the rising sophistication of cybercriminals, who have targeted a wide array of marquee corporate names, including Target, Neiman Marcus, JPMorgan Chase and, most recently, Home Depot."

Apple Pay, the story says, "would allow users to buy products from many stores using credit card information loaded onto an iPhone by its owner. A consumer would merely need to hold a device close to a sensor and confirm the purchase with a fingerprint scan or other method. The merchant would get two codes: One would identify the credit card; the other would be a one-time authorization code. Even if a hacker somehow stole both, they couldn’t be used for any other transaction."

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, as well as banks like Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo."
KC's View:
Analysts say that Apple may have an easier time implementing this system and making it work than its competitors because it controls so much of its eco-system; it isn't like it has to persuade a wide number of partners to collaborate.

We're at a time when a safe, secure and convenient alternatives to longtime and, some would say antiquated, payment systems may get some traction.

Besides, I'm a total Apple junkie. I'd try it.