But looks like Apple is also talking to MC/Visa. So Apple does not seem to be competing with them, rather it is also looking to get a cut like the issuing banks are doing now.
The cost of handling transactions is steadily diminishing. There was a time it would cost you something between 49$ and 149$ to place a single trade. It dropped to well below 10$ when I was still trading. Would not be surprised if they give you money to place a trade or something now. Compare it to the debit card transaction.
When it comes to creditcard I would not begrudge the 2% to 5% fee charged to the merchants. The credit card companies are essentially advancing an unsecured loan, and it would cost the individual merchants much more to check and advance credit to their customers. (Of course it there is some real competition the percentage might come down). But it is the debit card transaction that is atrocious. Money comes from the bank, there is no risk involved. There was a very nice system, including PIN numbers to manage the POS terminals. Way back when stock trade was 49$, it was 25 cent per transaction irrespective of the size of transaction. This should have become zero. But that is not what happened.
The Visa and Mastecard combined to discourage ATM cards and the POS terminals and undermined the system. They made debit and credit card to go through the same system. And the merchants were forced to pay 2% transaction fees on risk free money transfer from one bank to another.
The time is ripe, with prepaid cards and stored value cards for really cheap and free micro transactions. It took the clout of Apple to hit the music executives on their head and make them wake up, smell the coffee and realize the days of selling single track with 10 more useless tracks for 19$ per CD are gone. It might take such a juggernaut like Apple to make the bankers come around the bend and give up their 2% commission on risk free transactions.
But I wish we are not going from the duopoly of MC + Visa to a monopoly of AppStore. Well one thing at a time. Once the bankers get used to lower fees commensurate with the cost of transactions, may be alternatives to AppStore might emerge, and the system might become more open.
Please sing the lyric to the tune of Developers, Developers
Imagine, company A uses google docs. Company B sues company A and fires a huge fishing expedition subpoena during discovery to Google. No matter what the contract says between A and Google, Google will minimise its cost and it will not fight the fishing expedition as strongly as company A would. It would be very foolish of company A's lawyers to depend on the contract language with Google and allow Google access to the data of emails and internal documents. Our company legal is quite sharp. They really would not like our documents outside our control. I don't know how much we are paying Google. But given the response we get from Google for down times and tech support questions it is likely to be between 50$ to 100$ per seat per year.
I just met a 50 something guy who bought Nokia latest phone Lumia 650 or whatever. His phone constantly forgets the google log in, changes the ring tone and randomly shutsdown. Normally some kid or a nephew would have fixed the issue had it been a iPhone or android. There is no kid in his extended circle who knows to troubleshoot a microsoft phone. His complaint is not the problems with the phone. ALL his phones malfunction because he answers yes/no to prompts without fully understanding the questions. But there are always children who would bail him out.
I wonder how long its desktop monopoly is going to provide the cash to try these gimmicks.
America has been consistently electing politicians who promise to cut taxes. And they have been dutifully cutting the taxes for the richest people (and corporations which are people). But corporations are special citizens who can claim a non-profit status and exempt themselves from taxation. It is very expensive to create a new people-citizen. But corporate citizen is just a 25$ filing fee, no nine month waiting period, no active cooperation between two different people required. Corporation-people don't go to jail. They can be killed when it is suitable without any penalty. But corporation-people can be enslaved by other corporation-people and people-people. Corporation-people can have religious beliefs when it is profitable to have them. But they don't have religious responsibilities
Don't blame the politicians. Blame ourselves, collectively.
So don't worry, our government could be weak and our military power could be misapplied. But we have some really cunning bankers who would steal the loin cloth of Papua New Guineans if they could make a dollar or two. They will steal this spanking new Chinese built canal from Nicaragua for us. Some two decades later we the tax payers will compensate the victims of their greed.