One of Apple’s most recent products already has an unexpected fan from the competition, who is counting on Apple Pay to help the still-struggling NFC wireless payments business become popular with more and more smartphone users across platforms.

FROM EARLIER: New report claims to reveal release date for iOS 8.1 and Apple Pay

In an interview with Bloomberg, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates acknowledged that Apple Pay is a “fantastic” idea for the smartphone business, saying that Apple will indirectly help its rivals further grow their own contactless payment products.

“Apple Pay’s a great example of how a cell phone that identifies its user in a pretty strong way lets you make a transaction that should be very, very inexpensive,” Gates said. “So the fact that in any application I can buy something, that’s fantastic. The fact I don’t need a physical card anymore, I just do that transaction and you’re going to be quite sure about who it is on the other end, that is a real contribution.”

“And all the platforms, whether it’s Apple’s or Google’s or Microsoft, you’ll see this payment capability get built in. That’s built on industry standard protocols, NFC,” he continued. “And these companies have all participated in getting those going. Apple will help make sure it gets to critical mass for all the devices.”

At the same time, Microsoft’s co-founder also said he’s working on bringing mobile banking solutions for small amounts of money to developing nations, an endeavor for which Apple Pay is not exactly a great fit yet.

“No, [Tim Cook’s help isn’t needed].” Gates said. “The – the kind of basic things underneath aren’t the things that Apple Pay was involved in.Apple Pay will take anybody they’ve signed up for the payment instrument. So they’re not involved in driving the efficiency and the super, super low fees for low amounts of money. Now of course when we get these things as they branch out into other countries, having interoperability for people who happen to buy their devices will be worth doing.”

The full video interview follows below.

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