Apple Pay will soon be available and the financial services industry is bracing for fire and brimstone, rivers and seas boiling, dogs and cats living together …
Or so believes super investor Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and board member for companies like Facebook and Hewlett-Packard.
Apple Pay lets you pay for stuff with an iPhone 6 or Apple Watch, either in physical shops or in apps, simply by touching the fingerprint scanner, called Touch ID.
“Apple Pay is the thing that is freaking out all the financial services companies right now,” Andreessen told Bloomberg’s Emily Chang during an interview on stage at Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce customer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.
“Apple’s showing up to the party and saying, ‘We’re going to now be in the center of payments’ has caused kind of like a collective heart attack,” he said. “And by the way, not just Apple but presumably Google … everybody assumes that Google will respond to Apple Pay and that Google Pay will work much the same way with Android,” Andreessen says.
This idea of using your smartphone to pay for stuff in stores isn’t a new one. But it hasn’t really taken off yet. Most people still use their actual credit cards.
But Apple Pay will presumably be so safe and easy to use, that it could be the thing that causes people to adopt it. If that’s the case, it will insert Apple and maybe other device makers like Google (and maybe one day Microsoft) into the middle of the massive $US4 trillion credit card industry, much like Apple has inserted itself into the middle of the music/movies business (iTunes) and the software-buying business (App Store).
Apple has already convinced some of the biggest credit card companies and banks to support Apple Pay including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and banks like Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo.
But that’s not new. What’s different this time is that Apple is making it easy on everyone to use Apple Pay.
It’s “surprising … how many things don’t change with Apple Pay,” Andreessen says. “It’s very clever. It’s very cleverly done. It just inserts Apple into the middle of the existing system, which is why they’re all so freaked out.”
Apple has promised that Apple Pay will go live in October. We expect to hear more about Apple Pay at Apple’s event on Thursday, when it announces its new lineup of iPads and Macs.
Disclosure: Marc Andreessen is an investor in Business Insider.