When it comes to the peer-to-peer Apple Pay service coming in iOS 11, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman is demonstrating just how oblivious someone can be about Apple customers. Mr. Schulman is convinced that Apple Pay Cash won’t have an easy time competing with PayPal’s own Venmo app. His rationale for that line of thinking is nothing short of bizarre and, I suspect, based in a fallacy.
Here’s the deal. In a recent interview with the Telegraph, Mr. Schulman said Apple’s upcoming personal payment service will struggle because it’s going to be Apple-only. Okay, I can see that, since iOS isn’t the only game out there. However, I think the executive is ignoring just how loyal Apple customers are. In fact, I’m certain that he’s oblivious to that brand loyalty.
In his interview, Mr. Schulman pointed out that PayPal and Venmo will remain successful because they’re “technology agnostic.”
Many individuals are [a] multi-operating system; they can have an Android phone, a Microsoft PC and an Apple tablet. You don’t want a different payment methodology on each of those things … you want a consistency across that.
I would argue that while such a mélange of technology is technically possible, you aren’t as likely to see it with Apple’s customers. It’s far more likely that someone with an Apple tablet is also going to have an iPhone, not an Android phone. It simply doesn’t make sense to have mobile devices mixed like that. Your average iPhone user is going to stick with an Apple tablet, and vice versa.
Brand loyalty will also prompt Apple’s consumers to use the peer-to-peer Apple Pay service. We can even use the PayPal CEO’s own argument against him, here. The whole concept of wanting “consistency” will result in those who already use iMessage to love being able to send cash within the app.
Going a step further, we have the Apple Pay user who wants to send money to a friend. Are they going to use Venmo or PayPal for that, when they can simply use the same service they utilize for shopping? I don’t think so.
The argument, really, sounds like the initial argument smartphone manufacturers made against the iPhone. They insisted the lack of a physical keyboard would result in the device’s abject failure. Microsoft made, and continues to make, a similar argument against the iPad. It isn’t cross-platform, so nobody will purchase it.
Those arguments were proven false. Mr. Schulman will quickly find, despite his most fervent wishes, that his predictions are wrong, too. Apple Pay is growing, and it will continue to do so. The events Cupertino has planned, like the upcoming “Lose your wallet” discount event in San Francisco, are bound to help with that.