CEO Cook looks to add functionality, more countries to Apple Pay

CEO Cook looks to add functionality, more countries to Apple Pay

28 JAN 2015
Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook talked up new features that could be added to the recently launched Apple Pay, as well as his interest in a wider deployment of the US-only service.

Cook was willing to look forward with the NFC-based mobile payment service, even though he acknowledged Apple Pay was still only in the “first inning” since its launch in late 2014.

Answering a question during an analyst call for its Q1 2015 results, the Apple CEO said: “There’s tons of things on our roadmap of adding functionality to it.” He did not give further detail.

“We’re obviously — we’re just in the US right now and so there’s tons of countries to go to and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t get notes from many businesses outside the US running Apple Pay and banks and merchants,” he added.

However, another answer given by Cook indicated the amount of work needed for international rollout.

Each country has a different implementation, he acknowledged. “And so in some ways, like there is a different set of carriers in every country, there is a different set of banks.” Also processes with retailers vary between countries too, which means getting to scale could be a slower progress.

“However it’s not something that scares us or that’s preventing us from viewing it as a big opportunity,” he added.

The company was less forthcoming with Apple Pay statistics, offering nothing new in terms of user take-up, although Cook did mention that 750 banks and credit unions in the States have signed up to Apple Pay.

He said the NFC-based payment service accounts for more than $2 out of $3 spent on contactless payments across the three leading US credit cards (it should be borne in mind that the States has been a slow adopter when it comes to contactless payments).

And not every payment handled by Apple Pay is at a point-of-sale either. Questioned about the likely breakdown between physical and online payments, Cook responded: “I think they’ll play out differently in different geographic regions as to which one is larger than the other and the mix of those things will change over time as more and more commerce flows across apps and so forth.”

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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