Now that the previously hyped Apple Pay has officially launched and companies like WRF have solutions to support it, the operative question is – will consumers and merchants adopt it? My response: Yes. Apple Pay has a chance to succeed where many other recent mobile wallets have stalled or failed, because of Apple’s market influence and what’s referred to as the gravitational pull that occurs with almost every thing Apple does. And it is this gravitational pull that will be the inflection point and tipping point for mobile payments to finally take off.
First and foremost Apple consumers are avid brand supporters and excited, early adopters of new Apple technology. So this type of pull has always existed with their consumers.
However, unlike other mobile wallet predecessors (Google Wallet, Softcard, Square Wallet, etc) Apple developed compelling business plans with all the other parties involved in mobile payments. They negotiated special commercial terms and partnerships with the major bank card issuers. They also coordinated system integrations with the card brands and the major companies that process credit and debit card transactions.
Further Apple opted to use NFC (near field communication) technology as the connectivity between the iPhone and the merchant POS system – a technology that already existed in the market, albeit with limited utilization. Some national merchants currently have POS terminals or systems that are NFC-enabled. Now with Apple’s pull, along with the consortium of banks and processors they have lined up, many regional and local merchants may be motivated to adopt NFC-enabled equipment. And this can be accomplished without a lot of friction, and at a time when merchants are already positioned to implement equipment upgrades to support next year’s transition from mag stripe cards to chip cards. See our previous blogs about EMV including “What are EMV cards and what should you know about them” by Dan DeBraal.
However, right now, the math doesn’t YET add up for wide-scale utilization. While the iPhone6 sales and the number of merchants (national brands) capable of processing Apple Pay seems sizable, in reality both numbers are small in relation to the number of overall consumers and the total number of merchant locations nationwide. However, due to Apple’s gravitational pull with consumers, banks, processors, and merchants, expect these numbers to grow and gain traction in 2015 – not only with Apple Pay but with other mobile wallets as well.
Now if you doubt Apple has the gravitational pull to ignite mobile payments, think back to your history and physics lessons – and recall that the apple is intrinsically linked to Sir Isaac Newton and the law of gravity.
And if you do think Apple can ignite mobile payments, and want to get started, contact Wind River and we can review your options to begin accepting Apple Pay.