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Apple is looking to strike deals with ‘alternative payments’ providers

Apple is looking to strike deals with ‘alternative payments’ providers

26 May 2021

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about Apple Pay during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California.

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Apple is looking for a lead negotiator to strike partnerships with “alternative payment” partners, according to a job listing posted on Tuesday.

The role, according to the listing, would include screening potential partners, negotiating and signing deals, and launching new programs and features for Apple’s Wallets, Payments, and Commerce team. It will also work with Apple Pay teams.

“Lead the partnership program with key players in the Alternative Payments ecosystem, covering the complete process of partner identification, business case development and socialization, partnership negotiation, contract signing and execution, go to market launch and continued partnership value growth,” the job listing says.

Like most Apple job listings, it doesn’t mention specific products or partnerships that the role would work on. But it does mention some examples of alternative payments experience that Apple is looking for, including digital wallets, BNPL (buy now pay later, like Affirm), fast payments, and cryptocurrency.

Apple has a digital wallet app built into the iPhone, called Wallet. When it started in 2012, it could hold digital boarding passes. Over the years, it has grown to include a number of financial services, such as contactless Apple Pay, peer-to-peer payments, the Goldman Sachs-powered Apple Card and loyalty rewards programs.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly discussed his vision of a future without physical cash, only digital payments.

Apple has not yet announced a feature to allow iPhone users to widely accept payments, except through its peer-to-peer service. But the company has considered the idea. Last year, Apple bought Mobeewave, a startup that built software that allowed devices with NFC chips, like Apple’s iPhones and iPads, to become payment terminals.

Apple’s interest in cryptocurrency is less clear. After Tesla invested in Bitcoin this year, some analysts have suggested that Apple should start offering the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrency.

But Apple executives have poured cold water on the idea. In 2019, an Apple Pay executive said that the company saw “long-term potential” in cryptocurrency technology but isn’t focused on it. Later that year, Apple CEO Tim Cook shot down the idea of Apple launching its own cryptocurrency, like Facebook’s Diem.

An Apple representative didn’t return a request for comment. The job listing was first reported by Coindesk.