Apple Pay, the service that will allows people to tap-to-pay using iPhone and Watch, could make the fruit giant a huge amount of money. Sources close to the matter claim that Apple will take a fee for every payment made using its devices.
Bloomberg is reporting that three "people with knowledge of the arrangement" say Apple has reached an agreement with banks to take a share of payments. That will give Apple a share of the $40 billion that banks generate annually from "swipe-fees". The lenders themselves should benefit as consumers will apparently spend more money now that the iPhone and Watch will make it easier to do so.
Presumably these charges will be absorbed by the banks. This could leave a little room for online currencies like Bitcoin to offer a better rate and even greater anonymity, while still working on tap-to-pay. EBay will start accepting Bitcoin via PayPal, and it also owns the payment company that Uber uses. Uber is built-into Apple Pay so it seems like a short step to get Bitcoin in there too.
Bloomberg says: "The mobile-payments market will probably more than quadruple to about $90 billion by 2017, according to Forrester Research. The people familiar with Apple Pay didn’t specify the size of the fee, which they said could vary, or whether it’s tied to the value of purchases."
In America the typical fee merchants pay is around the 2 per cent mark. The companies Apple Pay works with: Visa, Mastercard and American Express, handled $3.96 trillion last year alone. 2 per cent of that amount is $79.2 billion – quite a pot for Apple to earn from then.
If this does happen and Apple becomes even richer than it already is, here's hoping that money goes back into making even better products as well as researching new environmentally friendly technologies for the future.