But Apple Inc's new mobile payments system - unveiled just ten days ago - is already winning over the heavyweights of the financial industry and signaling the likely demise of lesser payment alternatives.
Its secret? Apple Pay preserves many existing relationships while inserting a new dominant player - itself - as kingmaker. Its potential audience? The 800 million Apple users who have already connected credit and debit cards to iTunes accounts.
"Apple's approach appears to be collaborative with traditional payment networks, instead of competitive, and it's much less disruptive," says Nathalie Reinelt, a payments expert with banking consultancy Aite Group.
Apple Pay allows consumers using new Apple phones or soon-to-be-released tablets and smartwatches to buy things by simply holding the device up to readers installed by store merchants. Launched on Friday in the new iPhone 6s, it was first unveiled on Sept 9, when the giants of the credit card industry - Visa, MasterCard and American Express - declared their commitment to making the Apple service work.
Big brand retailers have also signed up and now major banks are racing to out-do on another in promoting the service to customers, hoping to win the lion's share of their spending and the lucrative transaction business that comes with that.
Softcard, the U.S. consortium of top U.S. mobile network operators, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile USA , said last week that it was working with Apple to develop a SIM-card based version in 2015.
And French payments company Ingenico signed a deal this week with Loewe, the Spanish luxury handbag and fashion retailer owned by LVMH, to provide Apple Pay services for its network of 160 stores in 34 countries.
"Without a doubt, the rush is on to cooperate," said Forrester Research payments analyst Denée Carrington.
Square, the credit-card reader start-up that is the second act for Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, has said its terminals used by many retailers will accept Apple Pay from customers.
Apple is already working with Twitter to create a "Buy Now" button for Twitter users and with Facebook to offer an Apple Pay "Buy" button to its users, according to Trip Chowdhry, a financial analyst at Global Equities Research.