Apple Pay has been out for more than 3 weeks now and according to recent reports from the net, the service may have ushered in the era of mobile payment system via the smartphone as more and more consumers use Apple Pay for their transactions.
A report from the New York Times says that leading retailers and consumer-oriented chains, like McDonald’s, Walgreens and Whole Foods, have experienced a surge in the use of mobile payments by consumers using their smartphones particularly Apple Pay. McDonald’s representative says that 50% of their tap-to-pay transactions in all of their 14,000 stores in the United States were consummated using Apple Pay. The same scenario can be observed in the nationwide drugstore chain Walgreens, where their mobile checkout payments have doubled since the release of the Cupertino firm’s Apple Pay system. High-End grocery Whole Foods added that their chain of stores have handled more than 150,000 transactions via Apple Pay.
Not only has Apple Pay paved the way for the Fruit Firm to literally tap the electronic payment system using NFC technology, but it also opened the doors for the benefit of its competitors who have their own mobile payment system. Google Wallet has seen an increase in its use and the same goes for Softcard who reported that Apple Pay has created the people’s awareness of the mobile payment system.
Quoting analyst Denee Carrington of Forrester Research:
“Quite frankly, a lot of it has to do with the strength of the Apple brand and how much merchants and customers love how easy the experience is. I’m not saying it’s changing the landscape overnight. But this has never happened with other mobile wallets.”
Although Apple Pay may be huge in most of Apple’s retail partners, some say that the mobile payment system still has a long way to go before it is considered mainstream. For instance, Toys “R” Us, who has 870 stores nationwide and supports Apple Pay, says that though there was a noticeable increase in their mobile payments, it was not quite that significant as customers were still in the process of learning and adopting the new system.
This may be the case but Apple competitors like Google, Softcard and other companies who are into the mobile payment system agree that Apple Pay’s entrance to the electronic payment arena has also boosted the use of their systems. Mr. Michael Abbott, chief executive of Softcard, said that a lot of companies now want to support near field communication (NFC) technology which is at the heart of the Apple Pay and their system also.
Still, there are hurdles to Apple Pay as Telecom Analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research says that the technology only works with the latest iPhone models and that there are still a lot of merchants who do not have the facilities to support the new system.
“Apple Pay is going to be a slow-burn success. Until then, it will be something of a novelty and something that most consumers use occasionally if they use it at all. That’s still enormous progress.”