Apple is no stranger to secrecy. The company works hard to keep its software and hardware plans under heavy wraps until they’re announced to the world.
The introduction of Apple Pay — its new mobile payment platform — was no different. Financial institutions bent over backwards to keep Apple Pay a secret, according to The New York Times’ Nathaniel Popper.
Popper says both Apple and major banks like JP Morgan Chase quickly began use code names for each other after talks around a new payment platform began materialising in early 2013.
Card issuer Visa reportedly used an Apple rival as a codename so employees wouldn’t become curious about the partnership.
At JP Morgan, secrecy was of particular import. The company held sensitive discussions about the Apple Pay partnership in a windowless office room in San Francisco. Only a third of JP Morgan employees involved in the project were aware that Apple was their partner.
Chase, JP Morgan’s commercial bank, waited for Tim Cook to announce the Apple Pay before telling anyone about their involvement.
So when JP Morgan turned on the live stream of Tuesday’s event in their flagship Manhattan office (when it was finally working), they couldn’t tell anyone why it was on.
As soon as Tim Cook made the announcement, Chase happily acknowledged its plans to support Apple Pay.