In retrospect, it probably isn't too surprising that Bill Gates would endorse Apple Pay. Afterall, mobile payments are not a new idea, but they are an idea that has failed to go mainstream. What better way is there to promote an idea to the masses then to have Apple run with the baton? In other words, Apple Pay will indirectly help its rivals grow their own mobile, contactless payment systems. In fact, he even said something to that effect directly in a recent interview with Bloomberg.
Gates also said, “Apple Pay’s a great example of how a cell phone that identifies its user in a pretty strong way lets you make a transaction that should be very, very inexpensive. So the fact that in any application I can buy something, that’s fantastic. The fact I don’t need a physical card anymore, I just do that transaction and you’re going to be quite sure about who it is on the other end, that is a real contribution.”
He added, “And all the platforms, whether it’s Apple’s or Google’s or Microsoft, you’ll see this payment capability get built in. That’s built on industry standard protocols, NFC. And these companies have all participated in getting those going. Apple will help make sure it gets to critical mass for all the devices.”
As an interesting sidenote, Gates also shared that he is working on bringing a different and "more affordable" form of contactless payments to developing nations. He concluded, "...the kind of basic things underneath aren’t the things that Apple Pay was involved in.Apple Pay will take anybody they’ve signed up for the payment instrument. So they’re not involved in driving the efficiency and the super, super low fees for low amounts of money. Now of course when we get these things as they branch out into other countries, having interoperability for people who happen to buy their devices will be worth doing.”
The full interview can be viewed at BloombergTV here.