NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report CEO Jack Ma created a stir at a technology conference Monday night when he expressed interest in partnering with Apple (AAPL) - Get Report on its new payments system, Apple Pay.
Alibaba -- the Chinese Internet giant that recently went public in the U.S. -- has its own payments system, Alipay, with some 300 million users. Apple just entered the payments market a week ago. Tying Apple Pay with Alibaba would create a massive new electronic payments system that could transform the fledgling industry.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was also at the conference, said he would talk with Ma soon about joining forces. Cook also announced that more than one million credit cards were activated with Apple Pay within the first 72 hours the service was open to the public.
A small fuss arose over the weekend as Rite Aid (RAD) - Get Report and CVS (CVS) - Get Report , which are part of a rival payment system, cut off access to Apple Pay. Their own payments system comes out in 2015.
The important part of Cook's announcement is that the response to Apple Pay seemed to be overwhelming. That's what is needed to spur the latest technology onwards.
Apple has almost a cult following. No other maker of computer applications has such a large group to true believers. Just because Apple does something immediately draws a large crowd of the faithful.
This group of followers tends to be young and tech-savvy. They represent the next generation. They point to what the future is going to look like.
The banking industry has needed something like this to bring it into the 21st century. The various components of electronic banking have been drawing more and more "name" people into the industry, and this has resulted in more and more money being invested in these innovative platforms.
Still, there hasn't been quite enough buzz yet.
But now, it seems as if that buzz has arrived with Apple Pay, and especially with a potential Apple-Alibaba deal.
Now watch for a crowd to gather around this new space. Watch the investment money pile up. Watch for the investment opportunities to grow as innovation is brought to the banking world.
The tipping point for banking has likely been reached, and now the fight will be to see which players will control the space.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate APPLE INC (AAPL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL Ratings Report