Apple Electronic Payments Entry Called A 'Game Changer'
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is poised to launch an electronic payments mobile payment platform as part of its latest iPhone expected September 9, an analyst said Thursday.
Keane thinks Apple's system will rely on app software and obviate the need for near-field communication chips that are included in most Android-based smart phones but have so far generally gone unused.
The chips are intended to communicate with merchant devices in a function similar to a card swipe.
"It could eliminate traditional point-of-sale terminals," many of which are manufactured by VeriFone Systems (NYSE: PAY), Keane said.
It could also reduce the role of so-called acquirers -- who serve as middle-men between merchants and credit card issuers -- to a "commodity service," Keane said, suggesting that Global Payments (NYSE: GPN) could see business at risk.
Issuers like Mastercard (NYSE: MA) and Visa (NYSE: V) may benefit as Apple may not pursue "direct connectivity" to consumers' bank accounts given hurdles of customer acceptance and risks of fraud and bad credit.
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