American multinational banking and financial services holding company JP Morgan Chase & Co. has announced the launch of its own version of a mobile payment system, Chase Pay, which will allow users to pay major retailers and merchants in the U.S, including the country’s largest retailers Walmart and Best Buy.
Chase Pay vs. Apple Pay
As a rival platform, the bank’s mobile payment network is set to challenge Apple Pay in various strategies. For example, since its launch a year ago, Apple Pay failed to convince major retailers including Walmart and Best Buy to accept payments through its technology. In fact, according to Reuters, two-thirds of the top 100 U.S. retailers do not plan to accept Apple Pay this year. Currently, Apple Pay’s website states that the platform will support Best Buy soon, but has not mentioned Walmart and other major retailers.
JP Morgan’s method of securing major merchants and retailers deals is simple. The bank promises the Merchant Customer Exchange a significant cut in retailers’ costs. While retailers have to pay increasing transaction fees to banks and credit card networks when using financial platforms like Apple Pay, JP Morgan’s partnership with the Merchant Customer Exchange guarantees a lower fee for Chase Pay transactions. As of now, however, the bank has not disclosed just how much they aim to cut.
"As merchants give us more business, we will give them better pricing,” Gordon Smith, JP Morgan Chase executive told Reuters in an interview.
Chase Pay promises a superior security and additional security measures for corporations that have suffered from major data breaches and hacking attacks including Target and Home Depot.
Over time, the bank will target its 94 million debit and credit accounts and work with them to increase the Chase Pay user-base. This will provide an advantage to Chase Pay over Apple Pay, due to criticism from financial and security experts that additional middle-men i.e. Apple increases the risk of cybercrime through a breach of an iTunes account.
In order to use Apple Pay, users are required to enter basic credit card or bank details. Apple provides the card issuer (banks) with the information that the user has entered into the device. However, this leaves the device vulnerable to hacking attacks, which will allow fraudsters to steal financial and personal details once the iTunes account is compromised.
Since Chase Pay will already have access to JP Morgan’s credit card and debit card users, Chase Pay users will not be required perform any additional steps unlike Apple users, which could prove to be a significant advantage for the bank as far as attracting users is concerned.
Finally, despite their involvement in the R3 global blockchain consortium, an initiative to study the potential of the blockchain technology to improve traditional banking systems, it appears that Chase Pay will not be a blockchain product.