As one of the world’s leading tech companies, Apple is always looking for new ways to revolutionise and expand the industry. So far, cryptocurrencies remain the leading new innovation in finance and technology, and the tech giant seems open to including digital currencies on Apple Pay.
Speaking at a New York Times DealBook Online Summit, Apple CEO, Tim Cook offered insights on digital assets. First, he acknowledged being an investor in digital currencies. He claimed that it is interesting and reasonable to own digital currencies as part of a diversified investment portfolio.
However, in his capacity as the CEO, Cook acknowledges the company does not intend to accept cryptocurrencies in the immediate future for payments, but is open to incorporating crypto into Apple Pay down the line.
Integrating crypto into Apple Pay doesn’t seem like such a novel idea. Michael Saylor, an American entrepreneur and Microstrategy co-founder has already envisioned the possible impact of iCloud technology on digital currencies. He believes iCloud provides the ideal avenue for transporting and storing cryptocurrencies for payments.
For now, the only cryptocurrency support for Apple Pay is through third parties like Coinbase. The platforms have to convert all cryptocurrencies to the US dollar before it can be used for transactions. Once Apple Pay begins supporting digital currencies, it would operate as the end point for merchants and for transactions both online and offline. The merchant would only need to have the crypto payment processing service.
What would Apple supporting cryptocurrency for Apple Pay mean for the company?
Even though Apple is yet to give any timelines or clear indications of integrating cryptocurrencies to Apple Pay, such a move would be quite impactful. It will be one sure way to help increase engagement and profits.
So far, Apple has been focused on expanding the use cases of Apple Pay. It has already taken steps like supporting Student ID and drivers licenses to ensure increased adoption. However, payment has still failed to reach the desired level. Currently, only 38% of iPhone owners use Apple Pay. Crypto integration can be a way to boost adoption due to the increasing mass interest in crypto.
Integration of cryptocurrencies on Apple Pay can also be ideal for boosting Apple’s card business and payments volume. So far, various major financial service providers like Mastercard, Visa and Paypal are all looking for ways to offer crypto-related services. This is mostly due to increased demand for crypto payment services for both online and physical transactions. By integrating cryptocurrencies on their platform, more users will begin to adopt crypto as a true form of payment.
Therefore, while Apple might not be ready to integrate crypto in Apple Pay just yet, it is a logical inclusion for its growth prospects.