Apple Expands Pay Feature to Earn More

June 6, 2018

By Alisha Haridasani

Apple wants to turn its Pay function into a bigger revenue stream by expanding the use of its cashless payment tool to include a wider range of transactions.

At its annual developers conference this week, Apple announced partnerships with six American universities to incorporate their students' IDs into the Pay and Wallet system.

“When you look at students, if you’ll remember, you use your ID to do so many things ー to get into your dorm room, to go to the library, to pay for your food and your meal plan, to check in to the work out facilities,” Jennifer Bailey, head of Apple Pay, said in an interview with Cheddar’s Hope King. “Now having it in their phones in a secure way, we think students are going to love it.”

Apple Pay also launched a transit payment system in four Chinese cities earlier this year, allowing users to pay for train and bus rides using the Pay tool.

“People love to use it for everyday commuting,” said Bailey. The feature is available in cities in Japan, as well as Moscow, St. Petersburg, London, Chicago, Portland, Ore., and Salt Lake City. There are plans to integrate it with New York’s MTA system.

Apple’s efforts to expand the Pay and Wallet tools are part of its wider strategy to boost its services unit, which includes Pay, Music, and the iCloud. As iPhone sales start to slow, the company's services business become more important.

Revenue from Apple’s services accounted for around 15 percent of revenue in the second quarter, bringing in $9 billion. While Apple doesn’t break down how each unit fares, the CFO Luca Maestri told Bloomberg there are 270 million paid subscribers of its services.

The company is also investing more than $1 billion building out its entertainment unit. Details are sparse, but so far the company has courted the Hollywood stars Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Damien Chazelle, and Steven Spielberg for a dozen projects that are slated to be released next year.

For the full interview, click here.