Walmart SVP Publicly Argues with Visa Executive over Apple Pay


Walmart SVP Mike Cook (MCX and CurrentC was his idea) used the Q&A portion to publicly grill Visa's Global Head of Innovation (interesting title). Basically, Cook didn't like that Visa was being so complementary to Apple Pay boosting about it's lower card-present rates (applies when a card is actually being swiped) when such a large portion of brick-and-mortar (in-store) purchases already qualify as card-present.  

The video is embarrassing. It's not too common to see such a public confrontation between two executives. Recode's take away is that Walmart will never accept Apple Pay. I disagree. Companies change their minds on large corporate initiatives all the time. The video does show what the Apple Pay vs. CurrentC boils down to: principles (and we know how hard it is to move past principles). Mike Cook has been beating the MCX drum for years. A few months of Apple Pay success won't change much for Walmart. I wonder though about the fringe MCX members; the companies who don't have as much invested in MCX and CurrentC. Will they jump ship in 2015? It remains to be seen.  For Apple (who has skin in the game as a successful Apple Pay launch has immense tangible and intangible benefits), the battle is being fought day-to-day, bank-by-bank, retailer-by-retailer.