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Big Tech’s biggest payment plays of 2022

The roundup: It’s been a challenging year for tech firms as the industry navigates plunging valuations, layoffs, fears of a recession, and hot inflation. But none of that stopped the Big Four from solidifying their position in the payments landscape with new products and partnerships.

Here are the year’s most important Big Tech payment stories:

Apple:

  • Apple Pay added new markets, including Qatar and Malaysia. And it’s still growing domestically as consumers embrace digital wallets over physical cards: We expect 105.9 million people in the US will use Apple Pay next year—a 6.2% jump year over year, per Insider Intelligence forecasts.
  • Apple also announced new products: It partnered with Goldman Sachs to offer its credit card customers high-yield savings accounts and teased Apple Pay Later, which could lure in younger customers.
  • It also launched Tap to Pay on iPhone, a mobile point-of-sale solution that lets merchants accept contactless payments using their iPhones. Tap to Pay on iPhone underscores Apple’s push into merchant services and opens up a new revenue stream. It’s since partnered with Stripe, Block, and others as providers to roll out the solution.

As it adds new products, Apple is inching closer to achieving its reported goal for Breakout, a suite of financial services gathered under one roof. Additional features like buy now, pay later (BNPL) and geographic expansion will help sustain Apple’s growth.

Google:

Google can use its wide reach to boost adoption and engagement for its payment products in both developed markets and emerging regions where it has a device stronghold. We forecast the number of Google Pay users in the US will grow 8.2% this year to reach more than 26 million in 2023. Adding features and products—like BNPL—can make Google Pay simpler and more convenient.

Meta:

  • Facebook Pay rebranded as Meta Pay, bringing the payments suite in line with Meta’s grand plans for the metaverse. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he wants to build a digital wallet for the metaverse, but mass layoffs have thrown doubts over the project.
  • Meta pulled the plug on its crypto payments wallet, Novi. But cryptos are the most probable payment method for the metaverse, so Meta could use Novi’s tech to support a framework for future metaverse payments.
  • And Meta-owned WhatsApp delved deeper into payments: In India, users can now buy groceries within the app and make payments over the country’s mobile instant payment system. WhatsApp has similar plans for Brazil, although greater regulatory complexities in the country could make expansion difficult.

Despite setbacks with its plans for the metaverse, Meta is still committed to developing payments tech. It could also transform WhatsApp into a platform for payments and shopping, given the firm’s challenges with advertising and the need to generate more revenues. Expect it to keep expanding WhatsApp Pay into more markets.

Amazon:

Amazon is expanding its payment offering on all fronts. Its popular shopping platform sets it apart from other Big Tech firms getting involved with payments. If it can harness this and successfully embed payment products into users’ buying experience, it can capture higher payments volume and transaction revenues.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Payments Innovation Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the payments industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.