You can now use Google Pay on the New York subway, and Apple Pay in Hungary.
The Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) is accepting Google Pay at some subway station ticket machines; and on some Staten Island buses, Endgadget claims. In addition, the MTA could activate the “pay-per-ride” feature in Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) pay on 31 May 2019.
Consequently, you could use Google Pay on the four, five, and six subway lines between Grand Central Station and the Barclay’s Center (Atlantic Avenue) on that day. Plus, the Google Assistant could tell you subway schedules on 31 May.
Apple Pay Express Transit on Portland Light Rail
The TriMet in Portland, Oregon, is the first transit agency in the United States to accept Apple Pay, Apple Insider claims.
Thus you could access your Hop Fastpass account via Apple Pay. As a result, you could pay for light-rail, bus, and street car rides in Portland and Vancouver, Washington, with Apple Pay.
Unfortunately, media accounts do not say if MTA will accept Apple Pay, or TriMet will accept Google Pay. This could boost Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) by making Apple Pay more useful.
Apple Pay in Hungary
Apple Pay went live in two more European nations; Hungary and Luxembourg, on 21 May 2019, MacRumors reports.
Consequently, Apple Pay now works with another currency the Hungarian Forint. Interestingly, this could expose Apple and Apple Pay to Hungary’s economic woes. Disturbingly, the Forint was worth $0.0034 or 0.34₵ USD and €0.0031 on 23 May 2019.
Maybe Tim Cook needs to take an economics course; or Google the word “hyperinflation,” on his iPhone. I think low-priced currencies like Forint could collapse and wreak havoc on Apple Pay with price fluctuations.
Apple Pay in Luxembourg
Conversely, Apple Pay is now operating in another Eurozone country, Luxembourg, MacRumors notes. Importantly, Luxembourg is a major banking center that domiciles many corporations.
Interestingly, operations in Luxembourg could extend Apple Pay’s use in cross-border payments and remittances. That could greatly increase Apple Pay’s payment volume and harm weak currencies like the Forint.
To explain, Hungarians could use Apple Pay to move large amounts of cash out of the Forint and into the Euro if inflation hits. As a consequence, the Forint’s price could crash leading to hyperinflation. Strangely, that could force Hungary into the Eurozone to give its people a spendable currency.
Google Pay Offering Cashback incentives in Android Apps in India
Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) is betting that cashback can convince Indians to adopt Google Pay.
Some Android Apps could accept Google Pay in India later this year, TechCrunch speculates. To elaborate, an Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) initiative they call Project Cruiser will Google Pay in Android Apps in India.
Apparently, Project Cruiser is a platform that will integrate Android Apps with Google Pay. Alphabet will test Project Cruiser by making a software development kit (SDK) available to Apple Payer developers.
Google Pay could come to Android Apps
Notably, a feature that lets Apps reward users or purchasers with cashback presumably in Rupees. This could encourage Apple Pay use because rewards points are big business in the United States.
Alphabet hopes Project Cruiser could increase Google Pay’s use in India. Epic Games could use Project Cruiser’s SDK to build Google Pay into Fortnite in India, for example.
However, TechCrunch does not say if rewards points are part of Project Cruiser or what form the rewards points will take. I have to wonder if the Rewards Points will take the form of cryptocurrency or an Ethereum Request for Comment (ERC20) token. Notably, a number of cryptocurrency rewards points schemes; like Harmony and Kin, are under development.
Cryptocurrency Wallet integrates with Google Pay
The Spend Wallet multi-currency cryptocurrency wallet could accept over 20 cryptocurrencies on iPhone and Apple Pay, Cointelegraph claims. Plus, Spend Wallet is integrating with Apple Pay, Spend’s Medium claims.
Conversely, Spend claims you can use its wallet at over 40 million merchants worldwide and, buy with over 16 cryptocurrencies, and send fiat currencies globally. Plus, Spend claims you could manage 27 fiat currencies and over 16 cryptocurrencies; including Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC), with its wallet.
Interestingly, they design the Spend Wallet to enable users to make purchases with a virtual Visa (NYSE: V) card. Consequently, you could make purchases via Apple Pay through Spend Wallet.
However, Cointelegrph does not say what countries Spend works in. Spend says nothing about Google Pay integration at Medium, but its Android App is available at Google Play.
Spend Wallet could let you Buy with Cryptocurrency in the Real World
The Spend Wallet could be a gamechanger because it could enable real people to buy with cryptocurrency in the real world. Such transactions could be possible because Spend builds an Authorization Engine into its Wallet.
The Authorization Engine is an app they convert to convert digital assets at point of sale (POS) devices like cash registers and ATMs. Spend Wallet users could buy with Ripple at brick and mortar stores and convert Litecoin into cash at ATMs, if these claims are true.
Importantly, Spend’s Peter Peter Hertel writes at Medium; “No cryptocurrency is loaded on to the Spend Visa® Card.” Instead, “all assets are converted to local fiat currency prior to loading on the Visa® network.”
However, the killer app to propel Spend Wallet big time is to add a Euro or US dollar stablecoin to its Authorization Engine. A stablecoin is a digital currency that gives users to fiat currency a financial institution stores in a trust account.
Apple and Google are playing with Fire
If the Forint collapses, a Hungarian could use Spend Wallet to make purchases with Ethereum (ETH) in Budapest, for example. To clarify, Spend could convert small amounts of Ether (ETH) into Forints for one time purchases like food from Aldi.
Thus we could be see the beginning of the end of minor national currencies like the Forint. Therefore, I predict some politicians in countries like Hungary will try Apple Pay; and solutions like the Spend Wallet, soon.
I think Apple and Alphabet are playing with fire in the payments realm, in the final analysis. I have to wonder how long it will be before that fire burns those tech giants badly.
Originally published at https://marketmadhouse.com on May 23, 2019.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.