The Apple Pay mobile payments option that Apple will support through its new iPhone 6 devices (read more info about the announcement here) is being hailed as the best chance for success at the elusive mobile wallet. We know a thing or two about mobile wallets – we have built them for large corporate entities with varying degrees of success. We have learned that the no matter how cool, or seamless, or fast the technology is, success is based on two critical factors: merchant acceptance and consumer experience.
Apple’s notoriety and the subsequent mass adoption of their products and lifestyle has allowed them to do what no company has done before; that is, actually create a viable mobile wallet that consumers will use, and merchants will support. Apple Pay will be accepted by more than 200,000 merchants, including Disney, Target and many others.
Until this point, Starbucks was the best example of a successful mobile wallet because of strong consumer buy-in, and a seamless in-store experience. Apply Pay also stands to benefit from these factors, but on an entirely different level. First, Apple went to the banks and merchants to develop the acceptance network so that consumers would be guaranteed a great experience, early, often and consistently. The capital expense of investing in new technologies to accept mobile payments is a huge undertaking for any merchant, and Apple Pay gives retailers and merchants both the consumer base and clarity on what system to invest in. What is most interesting is that it isn’t a “wow” technology, but the relatively archaic Near field Communication (NFC).
Apple Pay will also be integrated into apps from companies like Target, Groupon, and OpenTable. The integration of multiple apps in one place will create more seamless customer experiences for those who want to accomplish multiple tasks in one app without ever exiting to open a new one. With so many major players now making their apps more integrated and more convenient for customers, the level of expectations for customer satisfaction will without-a-doubt increase. Consumers will try anything once, but they will also quickly abandon it if they are not satisfied. For example, according to research from Mobilewalla, users eventually delete 90 percent of all downloaded apps. Apply that to the top 100 apps in the iTunes store at any given time, you’d see about 45 percent churn in 30 days and 85 percent in three months.
Whether that payment occurs through plastic, a mobile device, coin, tickets or something that nobody has thought of yet, a well-designed, integrated, global payments capability is essential for corporations to reduce the pain and cost from payments while paying their employees, vendors and others in the most efficient and consumer friendly way. Apple Pay will drive additional consumer interest in receiving employee pay in more efficient ways than traditional bank accounts, ACH and checks. Now is a critical time to ensure that your business takes advantage of these changes and delivers value to your workers.