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Apple Pay is as safe as your selfies, says PayPal ad

In a newspaper ad reacting to Apple's new payment system, PayPal suggests it's not secure. And, well, PayPal is.

PayPal is America. Or at least so this ad seems to imply. And this America doesn't trust Apple. Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When Apple brings out a new product, it's incumbent on its competitors to create ads that explain, quite objectively, why this new product is detritus incarnated.

However, now that Apple is moving into new areas, new competitors must decide whether to toss barbs at the things Cupertino has Cooked up.

PayPal took one look at Apple Pay, the new wave-your-phone-or-watch-at-a-terminal-and-save-four-nanoseconds payment system from Apple and decided to ululate that its own payment app was far safer.

In an ad that ran in Monday's San Francisco Chronicle, PayPal explained that it represents the people. I hadn't been aware of this. However, the headline began "We The People," so I got the message very clearly.

The headline read, in full: "We The People Want Our Money Safer Than Our Selfies."

Could this possibly be a blunt reference to Apple's slight problems with respect to naked images of actresses being kept in its cloud?

The ad goes on to explain that "PayPal protects the people economy."

I hadn't been aware there was any other kind. I had been aware, though, that there were certain kinds of people that PayPal definitely didn't want anywhere near it. Employees who don't use PayPal apps, for example.

Apple, of course, insists that Apple Pay will be astoundingly safe because the system uses Touch ID and generates a new 16-digit number for every transaction, instead of transmitting your actual credit card number.

Ultimately, we the people will decide how safe we feel (and we're not always terribly clever about our choices).

Apple has mostly succeeded in making its customers believe that, unlike Google, it can be trusted with their data. It simply explains that it's not in the data business. It's in the making-your-life-easier-and-more-fun business.

With ads like PayPal's, there might be one of two motivations. Either PayPal feels its own app has been sorely under-marketed, underappreciated and therefore underused.

Or it's scared.