Now that Apple has revealed Apple Pay, PayPal wants to have it both ways.
On the one hand, PayPal is eager to let you know that its Braintree subsidiary can process Apple Pay payments, no problem—even though Apple left PayPal and Braintree off its list of recommended payments processors.
On the other, PayPal is eager to remind you that it has processed billions of transactions and that Apple doesn’t have the best track record on security, thanks to vulnerabilities in its iCloud backups that left celebrities vulnerable to photo thefts.
So on Monday PayPal took out full-page advertisements in the New York Times, USA Today, and San Francisco Chronicle declaring that online shoppers “want our money safer than our selfies.”
The ads follow a much softer jab at Apple last week in PayPal’s blog, where it suggested consumers and merchants should ask themselves, “Do they trust the brand that’s managing their payments?”
But that leaves a couple of questions for PayPal:
- If you’re worried about Apple’s security in general, why do you allow PayPal to be used as a payment option for iTunes and App Store purchases?
- And if you’re worried about the safety of Apple Pay specifically, why are you gearing up to let Braintree customers accept payments via Apple Pay?
The answer: PayPal wants a slice of the Apple Pay pie, and since its private negotiations with Apple have failed, it’s now going to negotiate in public.
To paraphrase Carl von Clausewitz, advertising is the continuation of partnership discussions by other means.
Here’s PayPal’s thinly veiled anti-Apple ad: