For much of the past year, the mobile payments industry has held its collective breath waiting to see whether and how Apple would get into the action. To much fanfare, the reigning heavyweight champ of consumer mobile hardware earlier this month announced the release of the newest range of iPhones, along with an NFC (near field communication) based mobile payments system called “Apple Pay.”
Reaction to the announcement has been predictably overcaffeinated, with some saying Apple Pay is the “last hope” for a mobile payments industry that has failed to live up to its initial promise, or that the world’s most valuable tech firm would quickly grind the existing universe of industry players into the dust.
For leading mobile wallet developer Cellum, the response was a quick pledge to include Apple Pay integration in the next SKD of Cellum Mobile Next, and otherwise to help its development partners leverage the new system.
Behind this measured response is a belief that, while Apple’s market heft and genius will guarantee Apple Pay a degree of ubiquity, numerous factors will hold it back from becoming a dominant global mobile payment method. (For more on why Cellum and others don’t think the mobile payments market isn’t Apple’s for the asking, read this earlier post of ours.)
According to Cellum Chairman and CEO Dr. János Kóka, the firm will remain a “neutral player,” integrating iOS, Android and any other technologies – including loyalty, geofencing and secure ticketing/ID – that create value for it’s partners and customers.
Either way, the “wait and see” period regarding Apple and mobile payments is over, being replaced – at least in terms of Cellum – by a time of adapt and excel.