Apple Pay is changing the way we buy things, bridging the gap between the online world and that good old fashioned notion of walking into a shop, restaurant or cafe with change in our pockets. This new payment service which is now three months old is making progress toward a goal that has eluded most other mobile wallets by actually persuading people to use it.
Past attempts by Google and Ebay among others to get shoppers to pay for purchases with a mobile phone have flagged because consumers didn’t see a benefit over swiping their credit card. Finance industry veterans attribute Apple Pay’s momentum to the popularity of its consumer gadgets. Apple hit record sales from the launch of its iPhone 6 series in the third quarter of 2014, making it the most profitable quarter in corporate history for the company and solidifying its brand power.
The function of Apple Pay itself is simple, instead of swiping a card and signing a receipt, shoppers using Apple Pay wave an iPhone (or the soon to be released Apple Watch) in front of a wireless reader and complete the transaction with a fingerprint. A pretty nifty concept for gadget geeks, as well as Apple aficionados.
At the moment Apple Pay is limited to the U.S and only works on the latest iPhone and iPads with a small percentage of retailers, banks and credit card companies having the necessary software and readers to facilitate the application. PayPal is also working hard to break down the barriers between online payments and off-line payments to give us a way of paying for items on either platform, with equal ease.
So as consumers are we moving away from a one size fits all approach to the way we pay for items and instead adopting a more philosophical attitude, or much like the recently deceased Google Glass, are we simply seeing a fad that may in time gain notoriety and in the long run lose all traction?
John Collison, the co-founder of Stripe has said “People traditionally drew a really sharp distinction between off-line and online payments. Face to face you would swipe your card, and online you typed in your credit card details. But those lines are starting to get blurred”.