So Apple Pay finally launched in the USA on October 20 and there’s been mixed reviews. Some people couldn’t make payments, whilst some found they were double-charged. However, these are just teething issues and the overwhelming reports are positive. Even former Apple CEO and Financial Services Club keynote speaker John Sculley:
I think Apple Pay can be a fundamental creative leap. Look what AliPay is doing. So I'm very optimistic about Apple Pay. But realistically, even if you're an optimist, it's going to take several years to deploy that around the world. And no retailer wants to bet 100% of their future just on Apple.
Developers also see the potential with Pek Pongpaet, founder of Impekable, telling the Cult of Mac:
“Wouldn’t it be cool if I could just go grab a table, order one of my usual drinks, pay for it using Apple Pay or my Starbucks card and get notified when my drink is ready – all from my phone without leaving the comfort of my seat?”
It would be very cool … if Starbucks were fans of Apple Pay which they aren’t. Bearing in mind that Starbucks take around $7 million in in-app mobile payments A WEEK, they’ve got something to lose here, having gained the most successful roll-out of a mobile wallet of anyone so far.
But with the major US banks on board, Apple Pay will start to generate traction. From MacRumours:
Wells Fargo, one of Apple's early Apple Pay partners, has been heavily promoting the service, perhaps more than any other participating bank. In addition to sending out numerous Apple Pay emails to customers, launching promotions, and advertising Apple Pay on its website, Wells Fargo has also launched a new television commercial highlighting Apple Pay's speed and ease of use.
And, as pointed out by Michael Boland in the Huffington Post, “the pain point that Apple Pay addresses with in-app payments is authentication across several apps. The highly fragmented world of apps compels a sort of Facebook Connect of payments. The value lies in being a unification layer that is 1. trusted, and 2. easy (TouchID).”
In other words, Apple Pay could be the Uber for mobile payments. That’s significant (as is the fact that Uber is now valued at $40 billion! not bad for a start-up).
This is why we see a trickle-down effect from the buzz around Apple Pay with Stripe, the API payment upstart, being valued at $3.5 billion. Go to their home page and checkout the line across the bottom of the page: One Touch to Pay on iOS. Easy Apple Pay integration for business built on Stripe. Start integrating.
You click the link and you find that Stripe were one of the first into this space, offering an easy way for any Stripe user to begin accepting Apple Pay in their iOS apps.
So, all in all, Apple Pay is a big deal and, for all the nay-sayers, I’m betting that this will be the wallet of choice in a few years. All that Apple has to do now is to make sure I know about it.
Postscript: if you have questions about Apple Pay, here’s a useful FAQ guide in MacWorld