There has been some interesting feedback on the MCX and Applepay assertions in the last post. Most of it on why I would think MCX will fold, not whether Applepay will succeed or not. But to some degree they are closely related to the Adoption-Distribution matrix.
The Adoption-Distribution matrix is a tool I use to evaluate certain types of investments. In the impact world, products are often easy to adopt by end consumers, but hard to distribute. Typical consumer commodities are widely Adopted and widely Distributed. So what does this have to do with MCX and Applepay.
Apple excels at leveraging this model – it is one of Steve Job’s greatest legacies. Think about the evolution of music on iTunes – he moved music distribution from hard to use, buggy and inconsistent to a platform that made it fast, inexpensive, easy and elegant to download music. Then added other products (movies, TV shows, books, etc) leveraging the base investment.
Applepay does the same thing. For minimal investment, Apple can experiment with making the payment platform available, making it a great experience that is easy to adopt and distribute and see what happens. It leverage investments already made and expands on the idea.
MCX faces the opposite challenge. Consumers will have to act to use it – download an ap, install it, tie it to a bank account – then fumble with it using Q-codes at the register. Most people don’t even know what Q-codes are or how to use them. They are sitting at Hard/Hard on the Distribution/Adoption matrix, Apple is sitting at Easy/Easy.
The majority of consumers don’t want complicated check out processes, fumbling at the register – really even thinking about do I use this or that to pay. Apple has been refining this process at it’s store’s where checkout is a swipe away from the nearest Apple store employee.
In spite of the feedback, I stand by the following:
- Apple may or may not succeed at Applepay on a wide scale, but it will get market and grow because it’s easy to use on a platform that exists and adoption by consumers is relatively easy.
- MCX will whither under complexity and infighting and migrate to one of the consortium as their own payment network funded by their competition – my money is on Wal-Mart to make this final end game.