Following reports Apple (AAPL +0.8%) is working on a mobile payments platform leveraging NFC radios, Touch ID fingerprint sensors, and 800M+ iTunes accounts, Stifel thinks Apple may have finally "cracked the code" for getting consumers to make offline payments with their phones rather than credit/debit cards.
Stifel: "With NFC and iBeacon to follow, we expect Apple’s payments product to be more focused on physical, brick-and-mortar retail than online ... We think Apple correctly sees a much bigger opportunity offline where consumer adoption is still negligible."
RBC sees a chance to create a loyalty points system for Apple products/services. Forbes' Mark Rogowsky thinks tech advances, Apple's scale, and the pending U.S. adoption of chip-and-PIN readers (will increase NFC reader support and make card payments slightly less convenient) amount to "a perfect storm" that can allow Apple's platform to succeed in spite of the failures of existing NFC solutions (Isis, Google Wallet, etc.).
PayPal owner eBay (EBAY -0.9%) is off moderately. PayPal has made a number of moves to expand into offline payments, but uptake has been limited. It handled $27B in mobile transactions last year, largely for online payments. Unlike Apple's solution (from all indications), PayPal's mobile payments offerings support both Android and iOS.