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苹果涉足P2P转账 每笔交易倒贴3美元

Don Reisinger 2015年12月14日

苹果的最终目的在于,借助这项服务激活更多的潜在用户,从而进一步普及Apple Pay在实体店支付体系的应用。

一个多月来,有不少消息称,苹果正在想办法让Apple Pay支付体系能够支持用户间的相互转账。

这项服务类似于PayPal及其子公司Venmo推出的P2P支付服务。Facebook和谷歌等行业巨头也分别推出了P2P支付服务。P2P支付可以用于朋友聚会后的算账,父母们也可以用它给上大学的子女转生活费。这项功能本质上是一种快捷省事的付钱手段。

在此之前,苹果一直没有踏入这个正在兴起的市场。Apple Pay用户可以使用iPhone或苹果手表在实体店里购买产品,或是通过移动应用购物,但就是不能互相转账。

苹果没有回应记者就该P2P支付服务计划提出的置评请求。

一旦苹果真的推出这项服务,它可能要面临一笔不小的成本。克罗内咨询公司CEO理查德•克罗内曾在接受《财富》采访时指出,如果苹果的P2P支付服务不收费,每一笔交易都可能会让该公司付出高达3美元的成本。

不过,这位数字支付行业专家还表示,苹果可能会有很好的理由忍受这些成本。他指出:“对等转账应用具有病毒式传播能力,也就是说,如果我给你转账50美元,而你还尚未注册Apple Pay,这就相当于我资助你注册了这项服务。苹果会愿意自掏腰包来刺激Apple Pay的广泛采用。”

福雷斯特公司分析师朱莉•阿斯克认为,随着Apple Pay通过P2P支付吸引来更多的用户,届时将有“更多商家愿意接受Apple Pay”,而这将能够“产生网络效应”。

对于苹果而言,P2P支付或许蕴含着巨大的潜在经济利益。杰富瑞公司去年发布的一份分析报告显示,苹果公司有0.15%的收入来自Apple Pay的信用卡交易,还有0.5%来自借记卡交易。根据福雷斯特提供的数据,有几百万人至少曾使用过一次Apple Pay,其中,在近三个月里没有使用该服务的人中,有13%的用户表示有兴趣再次使用Apple Pay。再考虑到那些可能通过P2P支付注册的用户,它不失为一个获得财务成功的秘诀。

克罗内表示,目前,美国人通过P2P支付转账的数额只有75亿美元左右——与激活的Apple Pay用户可能催生的交易额相比,这一数字简直不值一提。

克隆表示:“这根本无法跟实体店铺销售点系统的6.2万亿美元交易额相提并论。添加P2P支付功能最终也是为了增进Apple Pay在实体店支付体系中的使用。”

除此之外,推出P2P支付服务以及拓展Apple Pay网络可能还会给苹果带来更多好处。IHS科技公司移动总监杰克•肯特表示,P2P支付有利于苹果将用户“锁定”在它的产品(包括iPhone和苹果手表)上,用肯特的话说,就是“进一步促进它的生态系统。”

他表示:“为Apple Pay 添加P2P功能有一石二鸟之效,既可以将用户绑定到苹果生态系统上,还能促进设备销量收入。”

克罗内还指出了另一个潜在好处:掌握用户信息。这些信息包括一个人在移动设备上做了什么,以及他们通过移动设备购买了什么,每名用户每年诸如此类的相关信息的综合价值不低于300美元。他是根据企业投放到用户移动钱包中的广告和优惠收入算出这个数字的。但由于苹果一直对这个问题保持沉默,我们尚不清楚该公司是否会利用用户信息来产生这种潜在收益。

克罗内表示:“我能知道你在什么地方,购买了什么,而且我还能在你支付前、支付中和支付后与你进行互动,这就是数据对于移动钱包发行方的价值。”

总之,专家们认为,苹果如果愿意为用户的每笔转账交易付出3美元的成本,那么Apple Pay处理的交易量将显著提高一个量级,此外它还能吸引到新的用户,并收集到更多用户数据。但如果苹果真的想沿这条路走下去,那么它还必须扫清一个巨大的障碍:PayPal。

多年以来,人们已经习惯了用PayPal互相转账,包括在酒吧AA制买单,或是玩梦幻橄榄球游戏时给朋友付点彩头。不过近年来,PayPal公司已经在P2P支付战略上加倍下了重注。

PayPal在今年早些时候推出PayPal.Me服务。这项服务的用户可以创建一个独特的PayPal账号,这样一来,亲朋好友就可以更加方便地给他或她转账。P2P支付在PayPal长期战略中的重要性从2013年开始就已经非常明显了,PayPal当年以8亿美元的价格收购了Venmo的所有者、主要从事支付处理业务的Braintree公司。今年10月,PayPal声称,Venmo服务将进入实体店铺,以便在庞大的零售市场捕捉一定的份额。

PayPal是苹果在支付领域的一个强大的对手。正如克罗内指出的那样,PayPal在P2P支付领域可以说“领先了竞争对手好几光年”。PayPal拥有1.73亿活跃用户,另外他还相信,PayPal还有数亿名不活跃的用户,但他们随时都可能被P2P支付功能“激活”。这将给PayPal带来更大和更有利可图的机会。

PayPal的全球消费产品与工艺副总裁乔安娜•兰伯特对《财富》表示:“通过P2P服务,我们看到了用户参与度方面存在的机会。那些使用我们的服务进行转账的用户,也是对PayPal参与度最高的用户,而且他们总体上倾向于使用我们的服务进行更多的消费。”

换句话说,Apple Pay可能会陷入一场艰巨的战斗,但推出P2P服务的好处还是很明显的:如果苹果真的能够赢得“转账大战”,这就意味着它将迅速获得大量现金。(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

审校:任文科

For over a month, a number of news sites have published articles saying that Apple is working on a way for users of its Apple Pay payment system to send money to each other. The latest report came from Bloomberg on Tuesday.

The service would be similar to peer-to-peer payment services from PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo. Industry giants Facebook and Google also offer peer-to-peer payments. Peer-to-peer payments can be used among friends to settle up after a night of partying or by parents to send their cash-strapped college kids some funds. The feature is essentially a quick and relatively painless way to send cash.

Apple, however, has been conspicuously absent from this emerging market. Its Apple Pay service lets people use their iPhones and Apple Watches to buy products in brick-and-mortar stores and through mobile apps—but not send money to one another.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment about any plans for peer-to-peer payments.

If and when the company introduces the service, it could face some major costs. In an interview with Fortune on Tuesday, Richard Crone, CEO of Crone Consulting, said that transactions could cost Apple up to $3 each if it doesn’t charge users for them.

But Crone, a digital payment industry expert, argued that Apple may find good reason to swallow those charges. “Peer-to-peer transfers have a viral application, meaning if I send you $50 and you’re not enrolled in Apple Pay, then I’ve essentially funded your signing up for the service,” he said. “It’s a self-funded incentive for encouraging the adoption of Apple Pay.”

Forrester analyst Julie Ask argued that as Apple signs on Apple Pay users through peer-to-peer payments, there will be “more merchants who will want to accept Apple Pay.” Peer-to-peer payments, she said, “creates a network effect.”

The possible financial benefit for Apple could be major. According to a Jefferies analyst report from last year, Apple generates .15% in revenue on all credit card transactions through Apple Pay and half of one cent on debit card transactions. According to Forrester Data, millions of people have at least used Apple Pay once. Of those who haven’t used the service in the last three months, 13% say that they are interested in going back. Add that to the people who could sign up through peer-to-peer payments, and it’s a recipe for financial success, Crone argues.

He says Americans send just $7.5 billion to each other via peer-to-peer payments—a pittance compared to what Apple could generate in active Apple Pay users spending cash.

“That’s dwarfed by the $6.2 trillion spent at physical point-of-sale,” Crone says. “Adding peer-to-peer is all about increasing adoption for the eventual use of Apple Pay for in-store payments.”

But there may be even more upside to Apple introducing peer-to-peer payments and expanding its network. Jack Kent, director of mobile for IHS Technology, said that the company would be getting customers locked into its products, including the iPhone and Apple Watch, or as he put it, “furthering its ecosystem.”

“Being able to integrate transactions with Apple Pay…would be another way to tie users into its ecosystem and drive revenues from device sales,” he says.

Crone added one more potential benefit: owning user information. He estimated that the combined value of knowing what a person is doing on a mobile device and what they’re purchasing is worth $300 per user per year. He based that figure on the revenue companies can generate from ads and discounts delivered to them through their mobile wallets. Still, Apple’s silence on the issue makes it unclear whether the company would use customer data to generate that potential revenue.

“That’s the value of the data to the issuer of the wallet,” he says. “I know where you are, what you bought, and I can interact with you before, during, and after payment.”

In sum, Apple, for the cost of up to $3 per money transfer, can handle significantly more transactions, attract new users, and collect more user data, experts say. But there is still one big issue the company must overcome if it decides to go down that path: PayPal PYPL -2.25% .

For years, people have used PayPal to send money to others for everything from settling up at the bar to paying a friend for a fantasy football league. But in recent years, the company has doubled down on the strategy.

Earlier this year, PayPal premiered PayPal.Me, a service that lets users create a unique PayPal ID to make it easier for friends and family to send them money. The importance of peer-to-peer payments to PayPal’s long-term vision was clear in 2013 when the company acquired then-Venmo owner Braintree, a payment-processing company, for $800 million. It has since expanded its services, and in October, said that Venmo would now work at registers in brick-and-mortar stores in an attempt to capture a share of that massive retail market.

PayPal is a formidable foe for Apple in payments. As Crone said, in the realm of peer-to-peer payments, PayPal is “light years ahead” of its competitors. PayPal has 173 million active users. Crone believes that the company has hundreds of millions of users who are inactive but could be “activated” by peer-to-peer payments at any time. That would create an even greater—and profitable—opportunity for PayPal.

“At PayPal, we see a great engagement opportunity with peer-to-peer payments,” PayPal’s vice president of global consumer product and engineering Joanna Lambert told Fortune. “Customers who use our services to pay and get paid back are some of our most engaged and tend to spend more using our services overall.”

In other words, Apple Pay could be in for a serious battle. But the upside is clear: winning the battle over friends sending friends money means raking in massive sums of cash.

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