Rumor: Apple buys Mobeewave

Rumor only. Apple has entered the POS game with purchase of Mobeewave.

This is just a rumor.. but when you hear it often I give it a tad more credence.

It would seem Apple is entering the POS game.. Over the last 5 years they have looked at Stripe, Square and others.. but couldn’t make sense of the “hands on” merchant relationships.. perhaps they don’t want to add a sales team or manage payment ops. If that is the case Mobeewave is an amazing company with a solution that makes any phone a POS with just an App. Rather than getting an issuers permission to add a card to your wallet, it would require a merchant bank to create an account to allow for acceptance (I’m sure all acquirers will be calling Apple today).

Apple’s services revenue hit another record in yesterday’s earnings.. merchant acquiring would be new area for growth.. The opportunity: enabling acquirer to add merchants as easily as issuers add consumers. Small merchants would seem to be the best path for attack.

Who is impacted? This is a short blog, so here is my short list

  1. Square. Wow… now competing against Apple.
  2. Samsung. An investor in Mobeewave.. now without an outlet for making Samsung phones the next POS
  3. SMB acquirers. Making payment acceptance an app on an existing device may be the closest thing to creating an “alipay” in the US. If Apple can make pricing simple, and merchant banks can accelerate underwriting, they can make this a fantastic growth service.
  4. Fintech, specialty acceptance. The remaining players (ex Toast and Poynt) will now be in play.
  5. V/MA. They should love this.. it helps anyone become a merchant.. and adds volume to the network.

My firm belief is that Apple is best positioned to create GREAT experiences. This is much more than payment acceptance. Just as Paypal recognizes the need for QR code to transmit more than just payment information (yesterday’s earnings call), Apple can bring Mobeewave into the tent (within the secure enclave) to process identity, loyalty, rebates, rewards and coupons. Remember that Apple chose NOT to enable contactless on their Apple Card.. they want consumer behavior to be device to devices.. this is a very logical step for them (see previous blog on Brokering Identity).

I’m not going to waste much more time on this rumor.. but this is a monster with important implications. For my long time readers.. remember I was almost 2 years off in my estimate for ApplePay launch.. so it may take a little time.

For me… I’m busy buying some more Apple stock. This is genius.

3 thoughts on “Rumor: Apple buys Mobeewave”

  1. I too have been expecting Apple to enter POS game for a while. If that moment has indeed now arrived, I am less optimistic than before, for the following reasons:
    1. Smartphones and tablets suck when it comes to accepting contactless payments.
    2. Apple device are expensive compared to $100 EMV-certified terminals (or $50 MPOS dongle).
    3. Just doing POS is not enough, and Apple is not getting their hands dirty with acquiring (as they missed the point with the issuing, IMHO).
    4. Apple is entering a changing market. They should aim at where the puck is going to be.
    5. Open Banking IS coming in Europe.

    Having said that, Apple has some cards up their sleeves beyond payments…

  2. Hi Tom, great to see you noting the development. Please contact me to know about a fintech that has developed the tech to do this on ANY NFC enabled Android phone – game changer as you imagine. Android phones are more ubiquitous and more likely to be relevant to the segment which can now be opened up to POS card acceptance. Over 3 million small businesses in UK alone do not currently accept cards.

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