You may be right, but I pondered that in the second part of that statement and was why I asked for feedback. What part do ApplePay actually play in this process?
Now that I’ve looked back into my bank statements I only see ‘Tap and Pay’ transactions with merchants with no mention of ApplePay. So it does indeed look like they do nothing but present your card to a merchant.
Where it gets a little more convoluted (as I understand it) is that Apple don’t present your real credentials to the merchant to protect your card. This was a large part of the justification Apple gave for never giving direct access to the NFC capabilities of the iPhone.
But then the merchant is what shows on my bank statement (and near instantly as a pop up message on my iPhone/watch when I make a payment.
Something like this, and in real time:
Card -> ApplePay -> Merchant Machine -> Merchant Bank
Again, you’re probably right that it’s all with the bank, but with Apple doing some sort of translation in the middle, what if any guarantee/liability do they hold? Or do the banks simply agree this is a digital extension of your physical card and all the same terms and condition apply?