There has been a lot of discussion about Apple Pay ever since the announcement last month, and debate over whether or not it'll be good. Of course, that debate mostly exists because the service hasn't been released yet, and no one knows exactly how it will perform. Either way, it seems Apple Pay has a fan in an unlikely source - Bill Gates.
Of course, Gates isn't praising Apple in the way you might think, he actually shares our opinion
on Apple Pay, which is that it's a good idea because it will help the entire mobile payment ecosystem become more prominent, and ultimately, everyone will benefit - Apple, Android, and Windows. Gates gave credit to Android and Windows for building the NFC payment ecosystem, but says that "Apple will help make sure it gets to critical mass for all the devices."
The biggest benefit to Apple Pay, according to Gates (and many others), is the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and the added security afforded by that sensor. Though Gates never mentioned Touch ID by name, he refers to "a cell phone that identifies its user in a pretty strong", and how such a system benefits customers and businesses. He even mentions how on "all the platforms, whether it’s Apple’s or Google’s or Microsoft, you’ll see this payment capability get built in." Though, given that all of those platforms already have NFC payments, it seems clear that Gates is talking about the strong identity piece of the puzzle.
So, does that mean fingerprint scanners are on their way to Windows Phone along with Windows 10? There had been rumors about fingerprint scanner support
coming to WP with the 8.1
update, but that never came to pass. Microsoft must have some sort of strong identification method in the works, and fingerprint scanners are the best option right now.