After Apple Pay cold shoulder, PayPal hits back with 'money should be safer than selfies' ad

PayPal takes a pot shot at Apple Pay over security after being left out of Apple's list of payment partners.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

If Apple can't keep your selfies safe and secure, then why should you trust it with your money?

That's the implied message PayPal is putting it out to consumers in full page ads it ran in US newspapers on Monday, including the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle, which boldly states that: "We the people want our money safer than our selfies".

The ad doesn't explicitly mention Apple, but it's not hard to make the connection to Apple's recent iCloud hack, which led to nude pictures of celebrities being leaked. The hack, which happened a week ahead of the launch of Apple Pay and iPhone 6 launch, saw Apple deny its systems were breached, instead pointing to social engineering tricks that hackers used to compromise those accounts.

Even if Apple's systems weren't breached, and ignoring the fact that its parent eBay was, PayPal clearly has no problems pointing the finger.

PayPal has a few good reasons come out swinging this week: shares of its parent company eBay were rattled last week on the back of news that Apple was planning to launch Pay.

The NFC-enabled mobile payments service will be limited to US owners with an iPhone 6 when it launches in October, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and 5c, but ultimately could be rolled out to 200 million people worldwide who already own earlier models of Apple smartphones.

The ads PayPal paid for this week suggest the company is taking the threat of Apple Pay seriously and not being complacent about its own dominance in online payments.

There may be another reason behind PayPal's ire: Apple has given the cold shoulder to both PayPal and its payments platform subsidiary Braintree. Neither firm appears on Apple's list of "highly recommended" payment gateways for Apple Pay, which include rivals such as Stripe, but also authorize.Net, Chase Paymentech, Cybersource, First Data, and TSYS.

Though Apple says it makes no representations about any of the service providers, in a separate note to developers it stressed that using one of their SDKs is "highly recommended".

"The alternative is to provide your own server-side solution to receive payments from your app, decrypt payment tokens and interface with the payment provider. Handling credit and debit card payments can be complicated and unless you already have the expertise and systems in place, an SDK from a payment provider is the quickest and most reliable way to support Apple Pay in your app," states Apple.

And while Apple might not include Braintree in its recommended list, the PayPal subsidiary last week claimed it hasn't been left out entirely, noting that it was capable of processing Apple Pay transactions should its customers choose to accept Apple Pay in their app.

"This means that merchants who currently use Braintree for their payment processing can rest assured that Apple Pay will work with Braintree," said Bill Ready, Braintree's CEO. In Braintree's view, Apple Pay was just another payment option, like credit cards, bitcoin, and PayPal's own wallet.

PayPal and Apple did not respond to request for comment.

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