The month of September brought big changes to the digital payment business.
Apple announced its new Apple Pay service, expected to launch this month. Apple Pay will let iPhone 6 users make payments at participating stores across the U.S. with a single touch on their phones’ screens. Apple Pay also can be used to make purchases through retailers’ mobile apps and online stores.
Apple Pay users’ credit or debit card information is replaced with a unique encrypted Device Account Number assigned to the phone, which eliminates the need for card numbers and other information to be stored on a server or the device, Apple officials said.
“Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you’re using Apple Pay in a store, restaurant or other merchant, cashiers will no longer see your name, credit card number or security code helping to reduce the potential for fraud,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.
Older iPhone 5’s don’t have the NFC chip necessary to make Apple Play work. But in a clever marketing move, Apple is recommending iPhone 5 owners invest in the $350 Apple Watch, which offers the Apple Play function when paired with the older devices.
All the hubbub about Apple Pay evidently spurred eBay Inc. to make a Sept. 30 announcement that it would separate the company’s eBay and PayPal businesses in 2015. PayPal is the biggest mobile and online payment company, with revenues of $7.2 billion and 152million users.
EBay had long resisted some investors’ demands to spin-off PayPal, believing it the auction-hosting site and online payments business were a good fit for each other. But with Apple Pay now in the picture, the company has changed its mind.
“For more than a decade eBay and PayPal have mutually benefited from being part of one company, creating substantial shareholder value,” said eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe. “However, a throughout strategic review with our board shows that keeping eBay and PayPal together beyond 2015 clearly becomes less advantageous to each business strategically and competitively. The industry landscape is changing, and each business faces different competitive opportunities and challenges. Ebay and PayPal will be sharper and stronger and more focuses and competitive as leading standalone companies in their respective markets.”