A few hours into Apple Pay's Oct. 20 launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook promised the company was not looking to exploit its payments data.
"We see a huge issue with the security of traditional credit card system and many people who are getting into mobile payments are doing so because they want to monetize the data," Cook said during Apple's earnings call Oct. 20. "We think customers do not want this. They would like to keep data private."
Apple has made security a major part of its mobile wallet marketing strategy as a way to ease consumers' concerns in the wake of numerous high-profile data breaches. Apple Pay uses a combination of EMV, tokenization and biometrics.
Still, Apple's scale, along with the publicity that followed the leak of nude celebrity photos attributed to Apple's iCloud data storage service, has prompted concerns over the security and privacy of the company's mobile payment system.
During Apple's Oct. 20 earnings call, Cook emphasized Apple's business model of selling devices rather than making money off of payment relationships with consumers.
"We do not charge the consumer for the benefit and don't charge the merchant," Cook said, adding Apple does charge issuing banks, but he did not disclose the fee structure. He added Apple has signed up more than 500 banks to support Apple Pay.
For the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Sept 27, 2014, Apple posted quarterly revenue of $42.1 billion, a 12.3% increase over $37.5 billion the prior year; and quarterly net profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 per sharea 13.3% increase over the $7.5 billion net profit, or $1.18 per share, that Apple earned a year earlier. Analysts had projected a profit of $1.30 per share on quarterly revenue of $39.9 billion, according to Bloomberg.
The quarter exceeded Apple's expectations, Cook said, noting the iPhone 6 has launched in 32 countries, including China, and will be in 69 countries by the end of October.
"It's the fastest iPhone launch ever," Cook said.
Cook also addressed other Apple strategies that could impact merchants and issuers, such as Apple's mobile development partnership with IBM to build industry-specific mobile apps, and the Apple Watch, which Cook said would be released in early 2015.
Cook did not reveal other details of these initiatives, saying he didn't want to provide details to competitors. The first wave of development via the IBM partnership is expected to serve enterprises in banking, government, insurance, retail, travel and telecom industries.
"There will be a new generation of mobile enterprise apps that have Apple's ease of use, and backed by IBM's cloud services," Cook said. "It will redefine the way work gets done."
Cook did not reveal payment-specific apps tied to theIBMpartnership, but bundling mobile payments with broader merchant applications has become a common strategy among payment companies.