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Cashless made effortless




omni apr 19 - 2

Should you have opportunity to turn to the Apple web site and look up Apple Pay you will be greeted by the heading, “Cashless made effortless”. According to Apple, as published on their web site, “Apple Pay is easy and works with the Apple devices you use every day. You can make secure purchases in stores, in apps, and on the web. And you can send and receive money from friends and family right in Messages. Apple Pay is even simpler than using your physical card and safer too.” OK ,we get it, or as Oprah Winfrey was reported to have said last week as Apple TV+ was announced, “They’re in a billion pockets, y’all. A billion pockets!”

As reported on the financial television channel, CNBC, “The bottom line is Apple is still the iPhone company.” And yes, it then added, “If a billion people didn’t own it, you wouldn’t have seen Oprah, Steven Spielberg and other stars talking about how excited they are to make content for Apple TV+.” For the NonStop community, this may not have any immediate impact, however keeping in mind those billion pockets, each with at least one iPhone inside, when Apple went ahead and on March 25, 2019, and announced the Apple Card is it a big deal? Absolutely!

As Apple’s press release declared:

Cupertino, California — Apple today announced Apple Card, an innovative, new kind of credit card created by Apple and designed to help customers lead a healthier financial life. Apple Card is built into the Apple Wallet app on iPhone, offering customers a familiar experience with Apple Pay and the ability to manage their card right on iPhone. Apple Card transforms the entire credit card experience by simplifying the application process, eliminating fees, encouraging customers to pay less interest and providing a new level of privacy and security. Available in the US this summer, Apple Card also offers a clearer and more compelling rewards program than other credit cards with Daily Cash, which gives back a percentage of every purchase as cash on customers’ Apple Cash card each day.

Of course, I had to leave in the reference to Cupertino, California, if for no other reason that of nostalgia – remember the earlier 1990s when the market cap of Tandem Computers was greater than Apple? Recall too that according to urban legend, executives at a then almost-bankrupt Apple approached the Tandem’s board of directors seeking a buy out for just a little over US$300 million? That was at a time when I was still wondering the halls of Tandem’s Cupertino campus as proud as could be of all the building “tombstones” numbering and identifying each building in and around Vallco, Tantau, Pruneridge, and Forge – streets names a reminder to those with ties back to Tandem development of just how much change has taken place.

It is also a reminder that you can never truly underestimate the reach of a company fundamentally driven by the user experience all of which is to say – if Apple wants to transform the entire credit card experience eventually it will and the impact will be felt by all those NonStop vendors providing payment solutions and yes, ultimately NonStop itself. Too radical? Not the least, especially given as much time as we now have to prepare and accommodate! Remember, “They’re in a billion pockets, y’all. A billion pockets.”

CNET reporter, Jessica Dolcourt, in an April 3, 2019, article, The new Apple Card won’t let you switch from iPhone to Android, probably ever made a point of reminding us all that “Apple’s new digital and physical credit card, is a bold, brilliant move that reimagines credit card payments on the iPhone. What makes the move so gutsy has nothing to do with the service itself and everything to do with drawing you deeper into Apple’s ecosystem.” Indeed, according to Dolcourt, “a full-fledged credit card, backed by MasterCard’s payment network and Goldman Sachs, represents Apple’s cannonball dive into banking in a way that will have ripple effects for Visa, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and every other digital payment players.”

For the moment, commentary coming from the NonStop community vary from “No fees of any kind, including late fees. Game changer!” to “I don’t suspect a great impact at the onset. My gut feel, not based on empirical research, is that even Apple Pay didn’t have the uptake that Apple and others were expecting.” Both responses carry weight and hone in on one particular aspect of Apple Card. It will be a game changer even as it brings heft to existing Apple products – your merchant doesn’t accept Apple Pay? No worries, present your Apple Card and all’s cool! Need your expiration date well, OK, look it up on your iPhone and check Apple’s Wallet app. It’s all there.

For those vendors providing payments solutions, including OmniPayments, there may be little initial impact on existing applications. After all, transaction initiated by Apple Card will flow through the MasterCard network as they would do with just regular MasterCard plastic. But in time, this could take vendors down different paths when the transactions will all originate in the iPhone. As Dolcourt observed, “Apple has an uncanny ability to leverage its cult status to create hype around products and services in a way that compels others to follow, even if they got there first. But it’s Apple’s rival phone brands that should be most concerned – Samsung, Huawei and Google’s Pixel – not because they may want to create their own credit cards (they probably won’t), but because anyone who signs up for an Apple Card is essentially binding themselves to the iPhone for as long as they have the card.”

OmniPayments will be present at many upcoming events over the coming months including the European NonStop Technical Boot Camp (ETBC) in Edinburgh May 13 – 15, 2019. Should this be a topic that interests you and your enterprise, make sure you stop by the OmniPayments booth – OmniPayments is a Platinum Sponsor so it will be easy to spot the team. Be sure to engage the team as they too will be very interested in any observations you care to make. After all, any opportunity to drive even more transactions through today’s modern new NonStop platform is of benefit to everyone in the community and should prove topical no matter what line of business you may be in as Apple just seems to hold sway over the marketplace whenever consumers are involved.

Yash Kapadia | CEO | tel +1 408 446 9274