Why Apple Could Be A Bigger Threat Than Many VARs Realize
There's been a very interesting discussion taking place on Business Solutions' LinkedIn group regarding Apple and the retail IT reseller channel. The initial topic, presented by Bill Kisse, a long-time retail solutions provider, proposes the idea that Apple could reach into its deep pockets, create its own online payment infrastructure (iBank?), and leverage its dominant market share to instantly have millions (billions?) of users.
Such a move would obviously challenge Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, particularly if Apple decided to tweak the traditional payments model by reducing or eliminating fees.
But, Kisse also wonders if such a move might lead to Apple making a serious push into the retail IT hardware environment.
The comments on Kisse's post have been very thought-provoking. Michael Swain, enterprise account manager at AboveNet, shared that he was a part of some research which indicated that "68% of Apple users globally would change to iBank if they launched it." He also pointed out that Apple's best bet for future growth must include expansion.
Will this pull Apple into the payments arena? Will Apple respond to the already growing interest in mobile hardware from retailers by targeting this vertical?
What does this mean for you, the POS reseller, whose livelihood is build on the sale of POS solutions and payment processing services? Luckily, at this point much of what was discussed has been speculation. However, it's this kind of speculation and forward thinking you should be doing to better prepare yourself for tomorrow's challenges -- from Apple or any other threat. Change is around every corner, and not adjusting your business or at least coming up with contingency plans is putting your company in jeopardy.