Toss your wallet away! Today is the day iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners can use Apple (APPL) Pay to buy just about anything. The mobile pay system is a game changer for consumers and may ignite a mobile wallet war among the world’s biggest tech companies. Jon Najarian, co-founder of OptionMONSTER.com, says Google (GOOG) could be the first one to blink. “I can’t believe Google is just going to sit around and watch. So in other words that’s where your play is going to be.”
Unseating Apple Pay won’t be an easy. The system boasts tighter security methods than traditional credit cards and it has a rock-star roster of financial partners. American Express (AXP), Mastercard (MA) and Visa (V) are the top payment networks that will work side-by-side with many of the nation’s biggest banks; Bank of America (BAC), Chase (JPM), Citi (C), Capital One (COF) and Wells Fargo (WFC). Together this group represents 83 percent of credit card purchase volume in the US, according to Apple.
In return, Najarian points out Apple’s financial partners are gaining greater exposure to Apple’s lucrative database of iTunes customers. “The 700 million people that buy things all the time and have credit cards registered with iTunes, that’s basically why this and Apple will be so big in the space, that’s why all these institutions are partnering with them.”
While it seems Apple thought of everything to make Apple Pay a success, consumers remain tepid about paying for items with their phone, according to a recent report by eMarketer. That attitude will need to change for the industry to grow the $3.5 billion consumers are expected to spend on purchases via mobile phones this year.