Apple: pay per Pod
Computer manufacturer close to entering the financial market
Words speak louder than actions. No, we haven’t lost the plot. It’s just that more and more German households are using little voice-activated speakers. Why type queries for Google and orders for Amazon into the computer when you can do it all with the sound of your voice?
„Show me the money, Siri!“
The age of Alexa, Siri and Cortana has only just begun. We’re talking, of course, about voice-controlled devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, soon to be joined by Apple’s HomePod – all of them listening to our voices and able to follow simple commands. These pseudo-girls access Google and databanks compiled by their respective manufacturers, and can play music, compile to-do lists, provide news and weather updates and adjust the heating, among other things. Amazon alone plans to sell ten million Echo’s in 2017.
So at first glance it seems like just another tech-news when Apple presented its own system, the HomePod, complete with the voice of Siri. Sure, it’s looking a little sleeker than the competition’s devices and music playback sounds somewhat better but, hey, it’s Apple! But look closer and HomePod could be a game changer. That’s because of Apple Pay, the company’s own payment service.
Will Apple Pay challenge PayPal?
Many people are already familiar with PayPal, the leading digital payment service. But Apple Pay could quickly challenge PayPal. Apple’s customers are extremely loyal to the brand: if you own a MacBook or an iPad, chances are you’re using an iPhone, wearing an Apple Watch and will be installing the HomePod as well. This consistency within the brand, plus decades of experience as a hardware manufacturer, is what separates Apple from the rest of the pack.
So, the following scenario seems likely: once all the necessary components are installed, zealous Siri will not only play music or give weather updates, but also transfer money. Just like phone banking, only without the phone. And not via the owner’s bank, but via Apple Pay. Rather sooner than later, Apple users will think about using the native payment system they are already familiar with from music and film subscriptions.
Competition originates from the digital world
By the time all the parts are in play, banks will notice they’ve become expendable in another one of their very own business areas. Their true competition doesn’t arise from other banks but out of the digital world. And Apple exemplifies the digital world.
We are still talking hypothetically, of course. But anybody operating in a rapidly changing business environment like finances should know their own capability – and that of the competition. Which Apple certainly does. If the tech-giant does decide to enter the world of financial services, competitors have to react very quickly for a chance of grabbing market shares. The fiasco known as Paydirekt does not inspire confidence, however…