Seven banks join forces with Zelle in bid to catch up to Apple Pay

From "Banks Plan Payment Wallet to Compete With PayPal, Apple Pay" posted Monday by the Wall Street Journal:

Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and four other banks are working on a new product that will allow shoppers to pay at merchants’ online checkout with a wallet that will be linked to their debit and credit cards.

The digital wallet will be managed by Early Warning Services LLC, the bank-owned company that operates money-transfer service Zelle. The wallet, which doesn’t have a name yet, will operate separately from Zelle, EWS said.

One goal of the new service is to compete with third-party wallet operators such as PayPal Holdings and Apple Inc.’s Apple Pay, according to people familiar with the matter. Banks are worried about losing control of their customer relationships. Apple, in particular, poses a big threat. The tech giant has moved further into financial services and is working on a savings account with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.GS 1.04%increase; green up pointing triangle and a buy now, pay later offering.

The banks expect to enable 150 million debit and credit cards for use within the wallet when it rolls out. U.S. consumers who are up-to-date on payments, have used their card online in recent years and have provided an email address and phone number will be eligible.

My take: By comparison, 44 million people used Apple Pay last year, out of, I guess, a billion Apple device owners who might be eligible.

"Banks are worried about losing control of their customer relationships."

You think?

25 Comments

  1. David Emery said:
    The well-documented problems with Zelle and fraud means that’s nothing I’d ever use.

    7
    January 23, 2023
  2. Christopher McManus said:
    The 44 million number is a (low) estimate just for the US. Total world-wide is much much higher – likely above 200 million.

    3
    January 23, 2023
    • Horace Dediu said:
      507 million by end of 2020. Could be 600 million today.

      8
      January 23, 2023
  3. Jacob Feenstra said:
    FED wrote: “By comparison, 44 million people used Apple Pay last year, out of, I guess, a billion Apple device owners who might be eligible.”

    It’s not about where the “puck” is, but where it will be. Ten years from now it may be 440 million (already is, according to Horace) or a billion people using it. Banks realize that. But the banks will face the same problems as Sony and others did in the digital music management business some 20 years ago. What those companies (felt they) needed to protect forced them to set parameters that undermine an elegant system. Apple iTunes (and later some others) ran away with it. My guess is that is that it is and will be the same in with the digital wallet. The seamless integrating into the iPhone (or Android) system — such as the double click of the side button — will always beat finding the correct app.

    6
    January 23, 2023
    • Horace Dediu said:
      The banks can’t make a dent because they are regional. Payments are a global business. Apple has reach into every country. This has been tried in Europe as well and it amounted to not much.

      10
      January 23, 2023
  4. Greg Lippert said:
    From Apple Insider:

    “Details of how the new system will work are still being worked on. The intention is to begin rolling it out in the second half of 2023.”

    Details still being worked out? And rolling out this year? What could go wrong?

    This has 0% chance of success.

    10
    January 23, 2023
    • Alan Birnbaum said:
      Remember Walmart Pay system (barely, down in the dregs of my memory)

      0
      January 23, 2023
  5. Gary Morton said:
    For retail checkout, Apple Pay through a double click on the Apple watch is by far the easiest way to pay. It really is a killer app. There will probably be a lawsuit attempting to force Apple to allow people to set a selectable default “wallet” for that double click. After all, those legal fees really paid off for Netscape in forcing Microsoft/Windows to allow a selectable browser back in the day.

    4
    January 23, 2023
  6. Robert Varipapa said:
    I’ve had trouble every time I’ve used Zelle.

    Also remember they’re also competing with Venmo, Cash App, PayPaland countless others so not a chance in hell they’ll succeed

    0
    January 23, 2023
  7. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Personal Prediction:

    Banks aren’t happy with non-bank companies stealing their thunder on digital payment platforms and they’re fidgeting to fix and (probably) fail.

    Why?

    They’ve long overtly concerned themselves with what they do best and have for decades — the gathering and multiplying of money, while their competitors temp loyal customers with lifestyle ecosystem services designed to please by removing friction through platform functionality and state-of-the-art devices and clever software.

    Extend your wrist — bing! (…or should I say bing-o?)

    When the smoke starts forming about Apple payment-platform monopolization, my prediction will have come to pass.

    😉

    3
    January 23, 2023
  8. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    One last thing — The name of the consortium…

    Bank-owned “Early Warning Services LLC”.

    ???

    They seem to even struggle with an appropriate name.

    4
    January 23, 2023
    • Steven Philips said:
      Limited liability! ??

      0
      January 23, 2023
      • Alan Birnbaum said:
        This is high security for ya’

        Russian banks plan to start issuing stickers containing NFC (Near-Field Communication) chips to replace foreign contactless payment services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, which were suspended in Russia soon after Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, RBC reported on Monday.

        According to reports from multiple Russian banks, the payment stickers will resemble miniature debit cards that can be applied directly to phones. At least one bank, Alfa Bank, has reportedly already begun issuing the stickers to its clients.

        0
        January 23, 2023
  9. Gregg Thurman said:
    Banks have forever acted like the Greek Gods their banks used to look like: opening at 10:00 and closing at 3:00, and run by stuffy/officious boobs impressed with themselves. In the last 30 years or so, so secure in their self-importance, they failed to see the shift away from traditional banks.

    Definitely an OT question: my ex is looking at a private party offering of a Tesla Model Y Long Range with some extras, including home charging unit. Seller is asking $48,000. Anybody have any thoughts on it?

    0
    January 23, 2023
    • Rodney Avilla said:
      Year and mileage? Dual motor? What is the actual range? Home charging unit is a must. I would ask to see on his app what the service (repair) history is.

      0
      January 23, 2023
      • Gregg Thurman said:
        Sorry, forgot to include that info. 2021 w/ 21,000 miles. Clean inside and out. No Carfax history.

        0
        January 23, 2023
        • Gregg Thurman said:
          Cont’d

          I have no idea of # of motors, but taking into account that this is Tesla’s entry level vehicle I’d assume two. 0-60 is 4.8 seconds. Top speed is listed at 125mph.

          21,000 miles seems a bit high, but the car is located in south central Texas where a trip to the grocery store could be 30 (or more) miles away.

          0
          January 23, 2023
          • Rodney Avilla said:
            It’s probably dual motor with the stats you mentioned. For $7000 more, you can get a new one with two more years of warranty. And with a new one, you may qualify for a tax break. So it depends on the value you place for two additional years of warranty and 21,000 miles of use.

            0
            January 23, 2023
            • Roger Schutte said:
              I would be very careful buying a used Tesla right now as Tesla’s recent price cuts have shocked the prices of used ones. CarMax dumped most (100+) of their used ones for 10-15k less on the weekend before last and Carvana did theirs a few days later. There are likely 1000’s sitting on smaller dealers lots and private sales still needing to have their prices adjusted downward. I don’t know for sure but I heard FSD option doesn’t transfer to new owners.

              0
              January 23, 2023
  10. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Joe B. and Gregg T. —

    I’ve owned my Tesla for two years this March and have had a virtually flawless (especially charging on the open road) experience to the point I’m excited to drive EVERY time I get in it. Sounds like exaggeration, I know, but it’s not.

    I just wanted to set some comments straight —

    Joe B states:
    “The latest “hit” on all-electric is the mass you’re lugging around to get decent range. Turns out most folks rarely ever use the full range, which means you’re costing yourself energy when you just take it to pick up groceries”

    (response):
    It’s a cost-per-mile calculation, not the importance of what you’re doing with those miles traveled with any “excess” weight. All vehicles carry excess weight. EV miles are simply cheaper than gas miles — even with lugging around all that weight. Also, full range capability IS used with any long-range travel.

    The one quirk I found interesting being an all-electric EV owner is that, for mostly long-term battery preservation, battery charging protocol preference is to regularly keep it no more than ~80% charged and don’t allow discharge below ~10%. So just to maintain constant charge preservation of your battery, you regularly restrict yourself access to 30% of your total battery capacity. A strange fact, but this widest range capacity only becomes an issue on long trips anyway.

    Joe B. states:
    “Maybe someday there will be battery-switching stations every 75 miles.”

    (response):
    Unnecessary. While an interesting and plausible concept (early on, Tesla even tried out such a concept), today’s broad spread of chargers (primarily the Supercharger network) proves that swapping will prove to be unnecessary and far less practical anyway.

    Gregg T. states:
    “Besides, range limitations are software controlled. You can increase your range with a fee based software upgrade.”

    (response):
    Range is computed by software, but I don’t know what you’re referring to by “range limitations are software controlled”? Range limitations vary greatly because of a wide variety of well-known conditions of simple physics, none of which involve software. As far as increasing range with fee-based software, please clue me in for I am unaware of any that provide that promise.

    I can’t ever imagine getting an ICE car again.

    0
    January 24, 2023

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