As Apple Pay Rolls Out, Equinix is Ready for a Mobile Payments Revolution


Apple’s attempt to replace credit cards and, ultimately, your wallet with an iPhone is officially underway, and Equinix plans to be there as this revolution in how people pay for things becomes everyday reality.

Last week, Apple rolled out Apple Pay, a service that allows customers to make mobile purchases at more than 220,000 U.S. stores with their iPhone 6 and a thumbprint.

Apple has proven adept at driving major, long-term changes in user behavior (see: listening to music), and Equinix’s Chiaren Cushing has predicted they’re about to do it again.

“Now Apple is betting big on mobile payments,” she wrote in an earlier Interconnections post, “and we can be fairly certain that this will accelerate mass market adoption of mobile payments across all major categories of mobile devices – not just for Apple products.”

The service is built on technology that uses near-field communications radio signals sent between an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and machines installed at stores by retailers. The signals transmit critical payment information, stored in the user’s iTunes account, between the iPhone and those machines, and the purchase is made.

As the technology becomes more pervasive, Equinix can make life easier for companies that enable mobile payments. We do it by relying on a basic concept: direct connection.

Think about the complex security hurdles that need to be cleared on just a single purchase from a mobile device. Companies need to verify that the person using the device is its owner by confirming several things at once, such as proximity to a home address or identifying a thumbprint. They also need simultaneous connections with various institutions, from banks to payment processors.

This computer work is often being done on the cloud and sent globally via the Internet. But with Equinix, the connections can be faster and closer.

We have more than 100 data centers on five continents, and the key players in the mobile payments industry are among the 4,500 companies that deploy their IT with us. Through a cross connect inside Equinix, companies can link directly to their partners a few feet away. That beats connecting through miles of cable via the public Internet, and dealing with uncertainties about performance and security.

We’ve already installed 135,000 cross connects globally. As the mobile payments industry continues to convince people to dump their wallets, we’re ready (and expecting) to install plenty more.

Click here to learn more about Equinix’s global payments ecosystem.