On September 9th Apple took to the stage to unveil their newest iPhone and the latest iteration of their mobile operating system, iOS 8. It was widely anticipated that Apple had plans to unveil their entrance into the world of payments and while it played out a bit differently than most expected, they certainly made a splash.
Here are just a few reasons to be excited about Apple’s new role:
Apple Adds the Fun-Factor to Payments
As consumers we LOVE our phones. Some may say it’s a borderline obsession, which statistics appear to back up.
Flurry, put out a study recently that notes Americans spend an average of 162 minutes a day interacting with their phones. It only makes sense that we view using our phones as a more enjoyable way to accomplish tasks in our daily lives. Apple is banking this goes for payments, too.
While no one goes to the store thinking, “I’m so excited to pay!” Apple did just move the needle in that direction. By making payments as simple as moving your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch toward the Apple Pay terminal and using your finger to securely authenticate your purchase through TouchID (Apple’s fingerprint recognition solution). Apple Pay makes the payment process simple, seamless, and ties in nicely with how American’s currently spend 162 minutes of their day, and counting…
Well Played: Apple Didn’t Reinvent the Wheel
The benefits as a consumer are quite obvious, but many organizations are currently asking, “Why should I be excited about yet another payment method?”
The numbers don’t lie: Apple already has over 800 million credit cards on file through their iTunes and App Store. This is a massive list of potential customers who can leverage Apple Pay with an Apple Pay enabled iDevice.
The keyword is “potential” as after accounting for age, smartphone ownership, etc. many analysts are estimating that around 20-30 million Americans may begin using Apple Pay at launch in October. This number is still impressive and represents affluent customers who are eager and willing to pay for goods and services.
The second half of the equation is that Apple chose to use NFC technology. NFC has been around for some time and while up to this point it may not be mainstream technology, Apple Pay is poised to change that. It is likely this is the push that NFC technology needs to get over-the-hump and become a standard household term like “Wi-Fi.” As adoption rates rise, you can bet that NFC pricing will fall and we could even see Apple choose to create a “Business Class” iPad that has an integrated Apple Pay terminal. This model of iPad could possibly be sold directly to businesses as a Point of Sale solution.
Another new feature in iOS 8 is, Continuity. Continuity allows you to seamlessly pass your work between screens on your connected iDevices.
For example, if you are walking in the door reading an article on your iPhone, when you approach your MacBook you can seamless continue reading from its screen; no need to pull up the article yourself, Continuity will do that for you.
Where Continuity gets interesting is the idea of secure online payments. Picture this: you are on your MacBook and about to purchase something online. When it comes time to enter your payment information you could indicate you are paying via Apple Pay and Continuity will flash the payment details on your iPhone and you can confirm/complete your payment via TouchID. And just like that your payment is complete.
Apple has always done a phenomenal job of building an ecosystem that captivates their users and Continuity will certainly further this. No more typing your address information, no more risking that the website is compromised and therefore your card number could be stolen, no more annoying forms to tab through. Continuity + Apple Pay + TouchID provides a pretty slick way to improve online shopping while bolstering security.
The introduction of Apple Pay is certainly going to shape the future of payments on a global scale. If the above points play out well it is a future that both consumers and merchants can be excited for.
There are many other reasons to be excited about Apple Pay, let us know in the comments below what excites you about this new payment method or where you see it struggling to gain ground!