From the moment Apple revealed its mobile wallet to the world, PayPal has taken a very outspoken stance against it.
Even though PayPal stands to potentially benefit from an Apple wallet (PayPal is a funding source for iTunes payments already), Apple Pay is a much different approach to mobile payments than what PayPal has favored so far.
And PayPal insists that its approach, which doesn't rely on special phone or smartwatch hardware to enable payments at the point of sale, is the best.
"From our point of view, every company has its DNA, what it does well and what it bases its business on," PayPal's Anuj Nayar told PaymentsSource last week. "Google is a search company, Apple is a consumer electronics company, PayPal at its core is a payments company."
It wants to make sure that its message is not lost on consumers. This week, PayPal began hitting Apple in its weak spot by referencing the leak of celebrity nude "selfies" from iCloud storage. Since yesterday, PayPal has circulated this image online and as an ad in The New York Times:
PayPal (@PayPal) September 15, 2014
It's a fair criticism, but it's one that makes PayPal look defensive. Apple Pay won't even launch until October, and at that point it will fall under as much scrutiny as Google Wallet and the Starbucks app did and both of those were found to contain security flaws. Apple, already reeling from the iCloud scandal, may not need PayPal's help to erode consumer trust in its new payment system.
If Apple Pay works as advertised, benefiting from the perceived security of Touch ID, it could finally win many consumers over to mobile payments. But it's up to consumers to decide whether to forgive Apple for iCloud's role in the celebrity photo leaks. If PayPal is the more trustworthy service, it should go without saying.
Daniel Wolfe is the Editor-in-Chief of PaymentsSource.