It’s impossible to talk about this week’s launch announcement of Apple Pay, the NFC-enabled mobile payment system available with the new iPhones and Apple Watch, without drawing comparisons to Google Wallet. And with good reason, as the two services are more alike than either company would probably like to admit – at the end of the day, they’re both moving money from A to B, and there aren’t that many ways to spice things up. But now one small, though still notable difference is emerging, as we learn how Apple intends to profit from Apple Pay’s use.
With Google Wallet, we were always told that Google wasn’t making any money off the service. In fact, employees reported that the company actually lost money through various transaction fees, and its interest in promoting the system was more along the lines of gathering purchase data to help improve ad targeting.
Apple, on the other hand, will reportedly be taking a cut of each Apple Pay transaction. A very, very small one, granted – just three twentieths of one percent – but when you consider how many people are buying the new iPhones, and how many of those are likely to make payments through Apple Pay, that can start to add up.
The money comes out of the banks’ end, not your pocket, so this is ultimately of little concern to the user. Well, unless you own a bank. In which case, can we be friends?