Small Business Financing: Apple Enters the Mobile Payment Arena with Apple Pay
Apple Pay is an app available for IOS 8.1, representing Apple’s historic foray into mobile payment solutions. A great blog post on BizEpic.com sums up the general thought regarding Apple’s presence in the mobile payment arena, saying “this changes everything”, and so it does. While the article is correct to point out that mobile payments are not exactly new, with Apple throwing the full weight of their market share and huge popularity behind their payment app, not to mention their significant innovative and aesthetic force responsible for the ubiquity of the iphone itself, many are assuming this is the product that makes mobile payment go mainstream. Apple Pay’s launch has apparently spiked interest in the Android alternative, Google Wallet, which has already existed for years with less warm reception, as well as thrown light on a series of events that brought challenger CurrentC out of development of their payment platform and directly into the fray, with a not too warm reception by the public after their contracts with certain retailers took away Apple and Google backed payment app support.
While mobile payments have not yet caught on in the way that E-commerce has, there is much room for growth and when convenience marries security, it would seem the pathway should be clear for far wider adoption of the method. According to a Forbes article on Apple Pay, one of the biggest reasons why mobile payment systems have not been more widely adopted is because of the issues they present to retailers in terms of obtaining and using consumer data, but more importantly lining up with the retailers native discounts and loyalty programs. The third major issue present, which Apple has taken a stab at fixing, is that more exchange of consumer information means that there are many more opportunities for data thieves to make away with customer information, a major issue for both retailers and mobile tech proponents. Apple’s app attempts to remove that danger through storing card information directly on the phone itself, without ever sharing the information with the retailer. It remains to be seen whether these precautions will suffice, or whether high levels of adoption are in store or not, but retailers should be sure to follow the news closely in order to avoid being taken by surprise should the app prove to be largely popular.
Photo Credit to Kārlis Dambrāns on Flickr