Perhaps lost in the splashier news about Siri, iMessage and Apple Maps was confirmation that Apple Pay was coming to the web (PC and mobile). The expansion of Apple Pay to the web was first reported earlier this year by the Re/code blog.
Merchants can now integrate Apple Pay as a payment option online, beside credit cards and PayPal. This could be a huge development for e-commerce. Authentication comes via the Apple Watch or TouchID on the iPhone. It’s essentially a one-touch system and thus faster than PayPal checkout in most cases.
I don’t know about you but I’m becoming less and less tolerant of sites that want me to input credit card information. I want to give my credit card to fewer companies and I don’t want to fill out lengthy forms. In stores, payments with chip cards are becoming more painful. It’s no longer a fast swipe; it’s now leave your card in the reader and don’t take it out for 30 seconds. Annoying.
In addition to shielding your credit card from hacking, services such as Amazon Payments, PayPal and Apple Pay remove friction and potential credit card processing problems, which are fairly common.
According to a a recent consumer survey by PYMTS.com, 23 percent of iPhone users had tried Apple Pay, which represents growth from 17 percent last year. However the number of repeat users declined. That’s because of confusion/uncertainty/discomfort with this system. Store clerks have often not been properly trained and are unfamiliar with how to work with the system, giving rise to problems in my experience.
I’m undeterred by such experiences and a huge Apple Pay fan (also fan of PayPal [mostly] and Amazon Payments). In fact I now only shop at grocery stores that accept Apple Pay and use it whenever possible as my primary payment method. If it were possible I’d forever avoid paying with plastic again.
The move to the web is a bid by Apple to expand familiarity with and usage of Apple Pay. Regardless, mobile payments adoption for all types of transactions is inevitable. The question is “when,” not “if.” Millennials are much more broadly adopting mobile payments and will eventually force merchants to accommodate them — or suffer the consequences.
Merchants and marketers must be much more radically customer-centric or they’re going to lose to competitors who are. In the “old days” you could ask your customers to jump through hoops to buy your product or service. Today you no longer can. Making it easier for them to pay is part of that shift.