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Will Apple Pay take off (and take down BYOD)?

Tom Kaneshige | Sept. 18, 2014
Lofty promises of a mobile electronic wallet have been around for a decade, only to crash down to earth as consumers continue to stick with the venerable plastic credit-card swipe. Will the newly unveiled Apple Pay be any different? There are signs Apple might be able to pull it off.

Cohen: Apple has the scale to make it work. Because iPhone is such a closed garden, there's also a security advantage. I wouldn't put all my credit card information on an Android device; it's open-source and you don't really know what version you're running. With iPhone and the iOS platform, you get a much more controlled environment, which is more appropriate for doing transactions.

Apple is coming at this at the right time. The younger generation doesn't like to carry lots of things. They don't like to carry cash. They don't like to carry plastic. They don't like to carry bags all around. Remember how big your dad's wallet was? How does it compare with your wallet? Oddly enough, the phone is getting bigger and bigger, but now there's not enough room for both the phone and wallet in your pocket. Maybe that's why Apple is making the phone bigger to boost Apple Pay (laughs).

It's not going to be easy for Apple. It'll take a few years. But if they continue to execute on it, I think it'll really reshape the way people buy.

The zig-zag of the story is that you'll need to go back to two devices, at least for a little while: one for work where you may have your business wallet, and another for yourself. I was talking to Uber drivers. Did you know drivers are getting an iPhone from Uber with all the software on it? Drivers don't want to give Uber their phone. That's what I think will increasingly happen. Won't vendors come up with a double wallet on a single phone?

Cohen: They'll eventually come up with it. But there's a trust issue between the employer and employee, which is killing BYOD. It's going to come into play reasonably quickly, as soon as somebody starts using Apple Play. Folks will be less and less willing to be a part of the BYOD program. I've seen stories where, by mistake, the IT department deleted everything on an iPhone, including the photos of a departing employee. It's a strained relationship.


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