Other than the fact that Apple probably sneaked this article out through their PR firm to get someone under press byline to publish it and therefore it looks like Wired, rather than Apple, has unbelievable audacity. This is Monty Python level of genius. Apple is all over the new, while their denials and spin (they fix an “issue” but won’t admit it was the cause) by their lousy iCloud security thus scandalizing celebrities who are dumb enough to think a nude picture they take on their iPhone won’t be scooped up by Apple and then lost.
With that stunning security breach now the claim is I should put all my credit cards under Apple’s control (with who knows what backdoors) and of course eventually not even use credit cards at all but just Apple will take over.
Not only is this article stupid by its unbelievably ironic and bad timing, but it falls on so many other grounds even I don’t have enough words to describe them all, but let’s pick a few gems:
The money may move digitally, at least after the analog swipe of the card, but it’s still along the same old networks, a kind of parallel internet built to handle credit cards long before the web, much less the iPhone, existed.
Old-fashioned isn’t stupid and new isn’t smart (again, check your photos Apple might have lost as well). “same old networks”, otherwise known as secure. Thank you Visa and MasterCard for using old technology that both works and is less hackable. And thank you for taking responsibility when something does go wrong (rather than Apple’s ridiculous spin as to how none of this is their fault, the famous Apple arrogance at work once again).
But most of all, do I really think the iPhone is the end-all, be-all, esp. as it now is falling further and further behind and the only thing Apple is going to do with iPhone6 is copy Samsung’s innovations from several years ago. Apple is a brand, not really a product, and slowly the public is deciding brand, but inferior, doesn’t cut it. So, come on Wired, you really think the phone that is a small fraction of all smartphones is going to drive payment systems! Why don’t you disclose how much Apple stock you own to shill for them so much.
At first, an iPhone wallet likely would act as a surrogate for credit cards, a way to store the data of multiple cards but using the phone as the way to transfer that data instead of a swipe. But over time, the point of holding onto any of those cards, which become digital abstractions once they’re on the phone, likely will fall away. Instead, for all anyone with an iPhone is concerned, the way to pay will be Apple.
Now this 20-something that wrote this probably doesn’t have enough credit cards to realize there are actually reasons to have multiple cards: the simplest is loyalty programs (I use my Amazon card at Amazon, my airline card at airlines, my Amex at Costco, and so forth – nope, don’t want a single card, esp. an Apple one), and the most interesting is, peace of mind (have you ever maxed out a card and then discovered you could use the other, or as once I found I hadn’t notified my card company I was on expensive trip and they cut me off thinking the card had been stolen, but alas, I had a backup card). Come on, Apple is going to control all my money with a one-size-fits-all needs. You probably never bought anything on a “secret” card where you pay online so maybe someone else in your household doesn’t happen to know about that purchase.
internet-based alternative to the existing credit card network standards with the aim of moving money in real time
Now this is silly on several levels: 1) Internet isn’t moving money, merely the information that triggers transfers in the banking system, which most assuredly is NOT on the Internet, 2) the existing credit card communication systems are just as “real time” (and might actually move money since they’re often banks), and, 3) WTF do I care whether money moves in realtime? If money really moves in realtime, from my POV, that’s called a debit card, not a credit card. If I only pay for stuff once a month, what difference does it make to me whether the store gets paid in 0.1 second or 10 seconds or 10 days. So who does your allegedly better “real time” movement of money help? And why should I care?
And then there is this little gem:
‘Apple’s already got a great mobile wallet. You use it all the time when you buy something on iTunes.’
As Stupid Sarah would say, You Betcha. But using that logic wouldn’t Amazon be my choice to handle my other transactions given that Amazon has lots of cards on file and you can buy lots and lots and lots of things at Amazon, not just a few tunes. You’re going to claim iTunes is some gigundo innovation when Amazon (and lots of others) were doing the same thing long before Apple. And even if you’re amazed by Apple (and not by Amazon), why not Google, who is a lot more omnipresent than Apple.
And here’s a frightening scenario:
In that world, it’s Apple, not the credit card companies, that have the control, even if those iPhone wallets are being used to “store” those credit cards.
This is a good thing! Brilliant Apple who almost releases nude photos is going to have control over my pocketbook. No, thank you. Are they going to protect me the way the credit card companies do? What about credit limits when “credit card becomes abstract”?
And just in case that didn’t scare me enough, there’s this:
Once the credit card becomes that hidden (do you remember which one is connected to your iTunes account?), it’s only a short logical step to that card being eliminated altogether. Apple could get into the credit side of the game itself.
Why do I want Apple in the credit side of the game? What could they possibly bring to the party? Are they so wonderfully innovative (in fact, these days are they even innovative at all, instead of now following MSFT’s business strategy of just copying first-movers) they can magically make, for me, buying things on credit somehow better.
For a while I tried using Starbuck’s app to pay there. Sorry, it’s actually way easier to use my gold Starbucks card instead. And guess what – same effect either way, my Starbuck’s account is immediately debited (and I doubt that’s somehow happening in the iPhone, folks, that’s one of those old-fashioned systems, on servers and networks doing that) and if it drops below a limit Starbucks reloads my card (same as if I use app) and I pay the bill monthly. Card always words, app sometimes does and when it does, same result as using the card. And getting my wallet out of my pocket is just so much harder than getting my phone out of my pocket – gosh, it might burn one whole calorie more work.
And the stupidity keeps on rolling:
Apple has the ability to succeed where Google and the few NFC-enabled Android phones to hit the market never could, because Apple controls the hardware and the software. Google supported NFC with its own wallet, but few handsets came out with the chips inside, since few payment terminals would take them.
Duh, fellows, does Apple control the payment terminals? Who cares about controlling the hardware of a phone that is a small fraction (and getting smaller) of the market. The payment terminals, if they get used, are certainly going to handle Android phones (and probably even Windows Phones) as well and Apple has got nothing to do with that hardware. Just stupid, folks – can’t you think logically. Oh, of course not, your love affair with Apple has you blind.
Except unlike a smartphone, a credit card doesn’t do anything else. The credit card companies themselves see this day coming.
Neither does a toilet, but you won’t see me expecting that from Apple. Nor a car, or a house, or clothes, or a doctor, or a … What utter nonsense it is to think I expect a single device to do everything and won’t possibly have anything else.
So enough, the idea here is silly and the article supported the silly idea is just downright stupid. YMMV.