October 22, 2014
Will Apple Pay usher in a New Era of Mobile Retail?
With the release of Apple Pay, more than 220,000 retailers from coast to coast are cashing in. This system may be the best way to open proverbial wallets since the credit card. Statistics have long shown that paying with plastic causes people to buy more – and likely pay more for it. Where the dwindling stack of bills in your wallet was a bit prohibitive, turning cash into a convenient swipe removes that visual reminder. This is not news. From prepaid cards, to poker chips, everywhere money is exchanged, more of it flows when cash is absent in the transaction.
Apple Pay makes this transaction even easier. Now, practically all an iPhone user has to do is take his or her phone out and wave it at the register. This takes the emotional and psychological disconnect to an entirely different level. Buying things actually becomes fun and trendy. Instead of the emotional check or cash task, consumers get the social pleasure of doing something new, different and convenient.
Soon consumers can expect to see retailers blatantly advertising the opportunity to “tap to pay” in their stores. That convenience and the novelty of the transaction may actually help some retailers recapture some of the market share they have been losing to online retailers in recent years.
Doubtful? Businessweek recently reported that Citibank tested “tap to pay” programming way back in the dark ages of 2009. This pilot program proved that consumers bought more things and spent significantly more each time.
Apple Pay is even easier than “tap to pay” because the program does not require button tapping. Touch your finger to the button and wave the iPhone at the cash register. That’s it. Transaction complete with a flick and a swish – not a bad idea for a generation that grew up on Harry Potter.