Consumer Reports crowns Apple Pay Cash best P2P payments service

Posted:
in iOS
Consumer Reports compared five different platforms in the publication's first evaluation of mobile person-to-person payment systems, with Apple Pay Cash emerging the victor over segment rivals including Venmo and Square.

Apple Pay


The Consumer Reports comparison pitted Apple Pay Cash against Zella, Square Cash, Venmo and Facebook (via the Messages app), weighing security, privacy, support, and more in the process. After the results were in, Consumer Reports said "Apple's overall rating was significantly higher than for the other services," making it the clear winner.

The publication found Apple Pay Cash earned the highest marks for security and privacy, both key considerations in a payments product. Apple's biggest demerit was the lack of broad availability -- the service is iOS and watchOS only and requires relatively new hardware for biometric authentication and secure credential storage.

As non-Apple users are unable to use Apple Pay Cash, Consumer Reports notes Square Cash, Venmo and Facebook were decent performers, though each earned only fair scores when it came to data privacy.

"We're trying to help people make informed choices and think about safety elements they might not have previously," says Justin Brookman, Consumer Reports director of consumer privacy and technology.

Consumer Reports Testing Results
Source: Consumer Reports


The "broad access" hit drops Apple Pay's score down to a 76, which is still far above the cross platform Venmo, Square Cash and Facebook that earned 69, 64 and 63, respectively.

"Our ratings focus on how well the services authenticate payments to prevent fraud and error, secure user data, and protect privacy, but we also looked at the quality of customer support, how clearly they disclose fees, and whether users are bound by mandatory arbitration, among other factors," says Consumer Reports.

There has been a lot of debate surrounding mobile P2P payments recently, with Venmo taking flak for a general lack of privacy features. While customers can easily turn off the social aspect of Venmo, they often don't and a shocking amount of information can be gleaned from analyzing the public information.

Zelle took quite the hit for its lack of protection against accidental payments. Just typing in a wrong phone number by a single digit can see your money sent to the wrong person, though a Zelle spokesperson said this will be changed in an upcoming update.

Mobile payments have seen quite the uptick with eMarketer reporting a 24 percent increase this year in the number of consumers using mobile P2P payments, reaching 79 million total users. When looking at "OEM pay" marketing -- platforms such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay -- users could hit 450 million users by 2020, though the figure does not include P2P payments, according to Juniper Research.

Initially scheduled for release with iOS 11 last September, Apple Pay Cash was delayed by more than two months before it arrived on U.S. iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch devices in December.

During Apple's recent Q2 earnings report, CEO Tim Cook mentioned the overall success of Apple Pay, which will be rolling out to both CVS and Seven-Eleven later this year as well as Germany. For Apple, Apple Pay is big business. It is part of their "Services" category of revenue which saw a 31 percent increase this year, raking in 9.5 billion per the quarter.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    netroxnetrox Posts: 743member
    No kidding. I always feel confident with my Apple Pay use.
    redsnowdropMisterKitfreediverxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 29
    LukeCageLukeCage Posts: 162member
    I don’t feel Apple should get punished for the broad access so much because in some instances it’s literally not their fault. Look how long it took CVS to allow Apple Pay and big name hold outs still include Target and Walmart. However on the other hand Apple doesn’t advertise Apple Pay at least that’s what it seems to me.  Also I often hear that Apple doesn’t work with businesses to get Apple Pay stickers in windows and just get the word out. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 29
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,975member
    LukeCage said:
    I don’t feel Apple should get punished for the broad access so much because in some instances it’s literally not their fault. Look how long it took CVS to allow Apple Pay and big name hold outs still include Target and Walmart. However on the other hand Apple doesn’t advertise Apple Pay at least that’s what it seems to me.  Also I often hear that Apple doesn’t work with businesses to get Apple Pay stickers in windows and just get the word out. 
    This is about Apple Pay Cash, not Apple Pay. The issue with "broad access" is that it can only be used between two users with iOS and watchOS devices.
    chasmgatorguy1STnTENDERBITSfreediverxjbdragonsupadav03
  • Reply 4 of 29
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,597member
    Yeah, AI should have used a different picture there.
    Solimike1freediverx
  • Reply 5 of 29
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,975member
    chasm said:
    Yeah, AI should have used a different picture there.
    Yeah, that Apple Pay image certainly makes it more confusing. Here's a better one…



    mike1
  • Reply 6 of 29
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 439member
    I’m surprised that CR had something nice to say about Apple.  Was I transported to another universe?
  • Reply 7 of 29
    I’m looking forward to this coming to the uk. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 29
    croprcropr Posts: 944member
    LukeCage said:
    I don’t feel Apple should get punished for the broad access so much because in some instances it’s literally not their fault. Look how long it took CVS to allow Apple Pay and big name hold outs still include Target and Walmart. However on the other hand Apple doesn’t advertise Apple Pay at least that’s what it seems to me.  Also I often hear that Apple doesn’t work with businesses to get Apple Pay stickers in windows and just get the word out. 
    It is Apple's choice to offer Apple Pay only on iOS and not for e.g. Android devices.

    Once a month I am having with 6 colleagues a lunch in a nice restaurant.  One person pays the total bill and the others pay him back via a P2P payment.   Only 2 of the 7 people have an iPhone. With 7 people, there are 21 P2P combinations possible, but only 1 could potentially be done via Apple Pay.  This proves that Apple Pay P2P is useless in a country with a low iPhone market share. (if one ever wonders why market share does matter, even to Apple, you have the reason here)

    We are using a solution developed by a consortium of banks, which is available for iOS and Android, supports all local banks and works like a charm

    edited August 2018 irelandwilliamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 29
    irelandireland Posts: 17,620member
    Two things: unavailable in most countries. iOS to iOS only.
    williamlondonavon b7
  • Reply 10 of 29
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,968member
    Certain Apple Apps/services like Music/Video streaming, Apple Pay/Cash should be available on android for convenience. This also helps Android users to switch to iPhone next time around because of familiarity of Apps/services.
    irelandjbdragon
  • Reply 11 of 29
    irelandireland Posts: 17,620member
    wood1208 said:
    Certain Apple Apps/services like Music/Video streaming, Apple Pay/Cash should be available on android for convenience. This also helps Android users to switch to iPhone next time around because of familiarity of Apps/services.
    Fully agree. All of Apple's services should be cross-platform to allow users to seamlessly move from Android to iPhone when they consider it. The Android user base is much larger than iPhone, so it would give a huge amount of people the potential to dip their toe in the water. And iMessage especially needs to be cross-platform because iPhone owners need to be able to message everyone out of the box, without need to sell their soul and all their contacts to Mark Zuckerberg. I've emailed Cook and Schiller about this a few times. I keep reiterating that we need to be able message all smartphone users on iMessage, without need for a third party app. Every messaging app aside from iMessage is cross-platform and iMessage is poorer for it. We iPhone users literally need Zuckerberg to communicate with people and it shouldn't be that way. If Apple truly cares for its user's privacy they need to put their money where their mouth is and bring iMessage cross-platform. And Apple Pay Cash should obviously be cross platform.
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 12 of 29
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,303member
    Wait ... wait ... Consumer Reports liked something from Apple?
  • Reply 13 of 29
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,407member
    Soli said:
    LukeCage said:
    I don’t feel Apple should get punished for the broad access so much because in some instances it’s literally not their fault. Look how long it took CVS to allow Apple Pay and big name hold outs still include Target and Walmart. However on the other hand Apple doesn’t advertise Apple Pay at least that’s what it seems to me.  Also I often hear that Apple doesn’t work with businesses to get Apple Pay stickers in windows and just get the word out. 
    This is about Apple Pay Cash, not Apple Pay. The issue with "broad access" is that it can only be used between two users with iOS and watchOS devices.
    True, but it might be difficult for Apple to ensure the same level of security, privacy, and dependability if they supported use on Android devices. As in other areas, one of Apple's advantages is controlling the entire stack. With Apple Pay, the weakest link in the chain is your bank.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 375member
    Given the list of P2P solutions CR evaluated, it's obvious that Apple's high score for security and privacy is directly related to it's narrow availability. Until and unless there is an industry standard which all vendors can conform to, users will have to decide which P2P method they want to use. At least for Apple customers, they can use the other P2P systems also. Apple's P2P is the best choice among family members. I think that's Apple's customer base for this product anyway.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,407member
    cropr said:
    LukeCage said:
    I don’t feel Apple should get punished for the broad access so much because in some instances it’s literally not their fault. Look how long it took CVS to allow Apple Pay and big name hold outs still include Target and Walmart. However on the other hand Apple doesn’t advertise Apple Pay at least that’s what it seems to me.  Also I often hear that Apple doesn’t work with businesses to get Apple Pay stickers in windows and just get the word out. 
    It is Apple's choice to offer Apple Pay only on iOS and not for e.g. Android devices.

    Once a month I am having with 6 colleagues a lunch in a nice restaurant.  One person pays the total bill and the others pay him back via a P2P payment.   Only 2 of the 7 people have an iPhone. With 7 people, there are 21 P2P combinations possible, but only 1 could potentially be done via Apple Pay.  This proves that Apple Pay P2P is useless in a country with a low iPhone market share. (if one ever wonders why market share does matter, even to Apple, you have the reason here)

    We are using a solution developed by a consortium of banks, which is available for iOS and Android, supports all local banks and works like a charm

    You are using a solution that sacrifices privacy and security. If I have to pay or get paid by someone with an Android device, I might begrudgingly allow myself to use one of the alternate payment methods. That's not going to make me embrace the alternate payment system across the board.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 29
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,407member
    ireland said:
    wood1208 said:
    Certain Apple Apps/services like Music/Video streaming, Apple Pay/Cash should be available on android for convenience. This also helps Android users to switch to iPhone next time around because of familiarity of Apps/services.
    Fully agree. All of Apple's services should be cross-platform to allow users to seamlessly move from Android to iPhone when they consider it. 
    Nope. This would reduce the reasons for Android users to consider switching to iPhone. More importantly, Apple Pay's security and privacy protections would be weakened if Android devices were allowed to participate.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 29
    One reason I really like Apple Pay Cash is I can receive money from someone on my APC card and immediately turn around and buy something in a physical store using Apple Pay.  I don’t have to transfer the money from the APC card to another account or anything.

    Is that functionality a part of the other services?  Can I get money via Venmo and then, with no other steps, turn around and use that money to, say, buy my coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts?
    freediverx
  • Reply 18 of 29
    croprcropr Posts: 944member
    cropr said:
    LukeCage said:
    I don’t feel Apple should get punished for the broad access so much because in some instances it’s literally not their fault. Look how long it took CVS to allow Apple Pay and big name hold outs still include Target and Walmart. However on the other hand Apple doesn’t advertise Apple Pay at least that’s what it seems to me.  Also I often hear that Apple doesn’t work with businesses to get Apple Pay stickers in windows and just get the word out. 
    It is Apple's choice to offer Apple Pay only on iOS and not for e.g. Android devices.

    Once a month I am having with 6 colleagues a lunch in a nice restaurant.  One person pays the total bill and the others pay him back via a P2P payment.   Only 2 of the 7 people have an iPhone. With 7 people, there are 21 P2P combinations possible, but only 1 could potentially be done via Apple Pay.  This proves that Apple Pay P2P is useless in a country with a low iPhone market share. (if one ever wonders why market share does matter, even to Apple, you have the reason here)

    We are using a solution developed by a consortium of banks, which is available for iOS and Android, supports all local banks and works like a charm

    You are using a solution that sacrifices privacy and security. If I have to pay or get paid by someone with an Android device, I might begrudgingly allow myself to use one of the alternate payment methods. That's not going to make me embrace the alternate payment system across the board.
    You are assuming a lot of things even if I have not given any technical details. You absolutely have no clue about the privacy and security of the P2P method used, so you quite arrogantly say it must be weak, as Apple is the only company who knows something about security and can build a secure payment system
    edited August 2018 williamlondonavon b7
  • Reply 19 of 29
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,407member
    larryjw said:
    Given the list of P2P solutions CR evaluated, it's obvious that Apple's high score for security and privacy is directly related to it's narrow availability. 
    That "security through obscurity" argument is rubbish—one that has been disproven by iOS's far superior security track record despite accounting for over 35% of the US mobile market.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 29
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,407member
    cropr said:
    You are using a solution that sacrifices privacy and security. If I have to pay or get paid by someone with an Android device, I might begrudgingly allow myself to use one of the alternate payment methods. That's not going to make me embrace the alternate payment system across the board.
    You are assuming a lot of things even if I have not given any technical details. You absolutely have no clue about the privacy and security of the P2P method used, so you quite arrogantly say it must be weak, as Apple is the only company who knows something about security and can build a secure payment system
    By all means, tell us about your wondrous P2P payment system that offers security, privacy, and ease of use equal to or superior to Apple Pay's, yet wasn't evaluated by CR for some reason.

    I find it amusing, though, that you've chosen a "solution developed by a consortium of banks", considering that virtually every major bank has had their customer data hacked and/or has been found to play fast and loose with personal data. Meanwhile, Apple has never suffered such a security breach, and their business model does not involve the sale or sharing of user data.

    edited August 2018 williamlondon
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