NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The brutal fact is that Apple (AAPL) enrolled 15 goliath financial institutions in Apple Pay -- and now Apple may have little incentive to add many more institutions to the mobile payments system. That has experts wondering about the possible impact on the excluded banks.
When Apple Pay launched on Oct. 20, it had just six credit card issuers signed up. With that count, the company claimed it opened access to a possible 83% of credit card transactions. There is no official count with a new institutions added in but, sources said, the figure is approaching 90%.
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Current Apple Pay entities are American Express (AXP) , Bank of America (BAC) , Barclaycard (BCS) , Capital One (COF) , J.P. Morgan and Chase (JPM) , Citi (C) , M&T Bank (MTB) , BofA's Merrill Lynch, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC (PNC) , Regions Bank (RF) , US Bank (USB) , BofA's US Trust, USAA and Wells Fargo (WFC) .
The books are not closed on Apple Pay. Apple itself has said it has 500 institutions in its queue. Some will come aboard in 2014, probably in the next four weeks, several sources said. But those sources -- executives in credit card processors who are working to get customers enrolled -- have controlled optimism. Some figure just a few dozen will be added before the year closes.
Apple, in response to a question from this reporter, indicated that it did not comment on pending Apple Pay institutions.
There are many more. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. says there are 6,578 insured banks. There’s a like number of credit unions.
That means roughly 12,500 institutions are excluded from Apple Pay. Such institutions may be in trouble.
Chris Stulpin, a senior vice president at Pennsylvania-based Capital Markets Group, wrote in a recent research report, "Apple Inc. has potentially handed a major competitive advantage to the largest U.S. banks at the expense of their smaller counterparts.”