Microsoft cofounder-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates is helping to bring mobile banking to the world’s poorest nations.
He wants to make mobile payments much easier and cheaper to use for managing small amounts of money in those nations, he told Bloomberg Television anchor Erik Schatzker.
Interestingly, though, Windows Phone doesn’t have mobile payments tech the way that Google does with Google Wallet, or Apple does with Apple Pay.
So Schatzker asked if he considered asking Apple CEO Tim Cook for help with this project.
“No,” Gates replied, adding that Apple Pay didn’t solve the low-cost problem he was working on.
Schatzker: Have you asked or considered asking Tim Cook to help you with what you’re doing?
Bill Gates: No. The — the kind of basic things underneath aren’t the things that Apple Pay was involved in. Apple Pay will take anybody they have signed up for the payment instrument. So they’re not involved in driving the efficiency and the super, super low fees for low amounts of money. Now of course when we get these things as they branch out into other countries, having interoperability for people who happen to buy their devices will be worth doing.
But Gates didn’t trash talk Apple Pay. Quite the opposite. He called it a “fantastic” idea and “a real contribution.”
Bill Gates: Well, Apple Pay’s a great example of how a cell phone that identifies its user in a pretty strong way lets you make a transaction that should be very, very inexpensive. So the fact that in any application I can buy something, that’s fantastic. The fact I don’t need a physical card anymore, I just do that transaction and you’re going to be quite sure about who it is on the other end, that is a real contribution.
And Gates says that all phones, including Windows Phone, will one day do mobile payments, and they will have Apple to thank for making that feature popular.
Bill Gates: And all the platforms, whether it’s Apple’s or Google’s or Microsoft, you’ll see this payment capability get built in. That’s built on industry standard protocols, NFC. And these companies have all participated in getting those going. Apple will help make sure it gets to critical mass for all the devices.
Here’s the full interview: