This article was first published on The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.
An Israeli company is poised to cash in on one of the new products and technologies Apple just announced. Its Apple Pay system is ideal for Rosh Pina-based On-Track Solutions (oti), a major player in the mobile wallet business. With Apple announcing that a new NFC (near-field communication) solution for mobile payments will be built into the new iPhone 6, 6+ and Apple Watch, oti said that it would bring the same capabilities to older iPhones, via add-on hardware
That was enough for investors to bid up the price of oti’s shares on the NASDAQ, and oti stock was up some 75% at one point Wednesday before settling down by the end of the trading day.
Although less “glitzy” than the hardware products announced by Apple at a conference Tuesday, like Apple Watch and iPhone 6, Apple Pay may yet have as big an impact as other Apple devices. There are plenty of mobile wallet technologies around, including Google’s formidable Wallet platform, but similar to the MP3 player and digital music business before the advent of the iPod in 2001, mobile wallets have just not taken off. If history is any indication, Apple’s presence in the wallet space – just like its presence in the digital player and music space – is likely to fundamentally change that business.
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One reason is that even before introducing the platform publicly, Apple was hard at work signing up retailers to use the service. In addition to the 258 Apple retail stores in the US, some of the leading retailers in America plan to support Apple Pay, including Bloomingdale’s, Disney Store and Walt Disney World Resort, Duane Reade, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Sephora, Staples, Subway, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market, OpenTable, Panera Bread, Sephora, Starbucks, Target and others — and that’s just to start.
The platform will support credit cards issued by most of the large US banks, including Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, these banks handle 83 percent of credit card purchase volume in the US.
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