Will Apple Own The Payments Customer?

Sep. 14, 2015 11:05 AM ETApple Inc. (AAPL)92 Comments
Karen Webster profile picture
Karen Webster
3.06K Followers

Summary

  • Eight years after Apple did its first mobile carrier deal, Apple pretty much owns the mobile customer who uses their handset.
  • In 2022, eight years after Apple did its first bank and network deal, will Apple own the payments customer?
  • Now might be the time to step back and reflect on what the world might look like in 2022 while we’re still very much in the early innings of our mobile payments game.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

This is, of course, is the quote made famous in 1908 by Spanish philosopher and essayist, George Santayana. Published as part of his five-volume opus, “The Life of Reason,” Santayana’s insight is that examining the past, and learning from it, is the only way we can avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.

Eight years after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) did its first mobile carrier deal, Apple pretty much owns the mobile customer who uses their handset. In 2022, eight years after Apple did its first bank and network deal, will Apple own the payments customer?

Here’s why I ask.

THE PAST

Up until about June 2007, network operators ruled the mobile world and they did so with an iron fist.

Handset manufacturers that wanted access to their networks had little, if any, bargaining power. In fact, to the network operator, the handset was an inconvenient means to their very lucrative end – simply a way for consumers to access their valuable voice and data services.

Carriers pretty much told handset makers and software developers what they could do or not do. Usually it was not to do anything that the carriers were doing, could do, might do, or might have some aspiration to do at some point in time.

Back then, remember, even if you had a smartphone, about the only “app” you could get was a ringtone, and the carriers even tried to control that. Carriers, therefore, controlled innovation in the mobile space since they more or less decided what got to market and when.

The consumer appetite for access to the Internet via mobile devices masked what was an obvious problem: there really wasn’t that much innovation coming from the mobile carriers. The mobile carriers though never

This article was written by

Karen Webster profile picture
3.06K Followers
Karen Webster is one of the world’s leading experts on emerging payments and a strategic advisor to CEOs and Boards of multinational players in the payments and commerce space. As the CEO of Market Platform Dynamics, she works extensively with the most innovative players in the payments, financial services, mobile, B2B, digital media and technology sectors to identify, ignite and monetize innovation. Ms. Webster also serves as a member of the board for several emerging companies and helps these innovators develop and implement business strategies that drive market adoption for their products and services.

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