Google Spotlight vs. Apple

Since I did a little spotlight on Apple I feel the need to address Google too because I felt like maybe it seems like Google is poo poo in payments (Google Wallet launched in 2011) with Apple entering the arena when in reality their plays are quite different.

Where Apple doesn't do as well:

  • closed ecosystem

    • struggles more on partnering because money is recycled within its own ecosystems

    • locks merchants out and consumers in. pros and cons here.

  • hardware first

  • biometric ID (touch ID)

obviously, Apple is doing extremely well - their model works! But perhaps their model is not the best suited for making the biggest impact (which may not even be their biggest goal).

Where Google differs:

  • open ecosystem

    • for merchants, consumers, banks, etc.

  • data first

    • very open to sharing and partnering

    • really good at online data - knows everything about you

  • data means that their business is centered around ad revenue

    • understand cohorts of data rather than transaction level

As you can see, Google wins in network effects and enabling.

In getting this it, trades off complete control over its ecosystem that Apple. It can enable a whole slew of companies to grow and form symbiotic partnerships for bank data and fintech applications such as neobanks who want automatic data, analytics, merchant integrations, and Android access. Google ties everything together and closes the loop.

So clearly both Apple and Google are not destined to become banks nor should they.

They gain SO much more value from organizing the ecosystem each in their own ways.

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