Apple makes a move into social payments

By Teamspirit on Monday, 5 June 2017

This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose saw Apple taking aim at almost all of its competitors.

From refreshed desktop computers to a home assistant and person-to-person payments, Apple seems to be on a mission to bring its high-end, high-price, approach to multiple verticals where other firms have moved more quickly than the tech giant in recent years.

Particularly relevant to FS are the developments to Apple Pay and HomePod, Apple’s newest piece of hardware.

Apple is adding person-to-person payments to Apple Pay and integrating the technology to their messaging platform, giving Apple users a simple way to send money to each other. They are also introducing Apple Pay Cash, a digital debit card that works in a similar way to increasingly popular pre-paid services, like Monzo.

P2P payments were first popularised by Venmo in America, and have been a feature of other apps and services for several years, with the number of users steadily growing.

Likewise, Apple is releasing the HomePod, their version of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, which will bring Siri into people’s homes. In true Apple style, at $350 the HomePod is considerably more expensive than the Amazon of Google devices (more than twice the price of Google Home).

But Apple is confident that people will embrace the HomePod’s dual functionality as an assistant and a high performance speaker (if you have Apple Music).

It will be interesting to see if Apple does in fact catch up with the competition with these new releases, or if they’ve left their latest innovations a little too late.

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