The Mobile team debates the impact Apple Pay will have on the UK mobile payments market:
Zak Garner-Purkis says...YES
Over the last 20 years Apple has been consistently been responsible for bringing niche technologies into the mainstream. The Californian manufacturer has kick started the adoption of a multitude of different technologies from MP3 players to smartphones, from tablet computers to apps.
Now it has turned its attentions to bringing mobile payments to the masses and will surely succeed. The UK is a market dominated by iOS users and has consistently embraced Apple’s products with a thirst to rival anywhere in the world.
Then there’s the payments infrastructure, so often the stumbling block when it comes to the development of a new payment technology. The UK has one of the vastest NFC contactless payments networks in the world and adoption of this payment method is moving at a speed never before seen. There are more than one million contactless purchases made in the UK every day, with 18,000 of those transactions coming from newly enabled cards. Going from tapping a card to a phone is straightforward transition and one that the UK is ready to make.
Ease of use and security are the two biggest issues when it comes to acceptance. Well, Apple users with iTunes accounts (basically all of them) have their payment details already in place so singing up is as simple as typing your security code into the relevant app (already on devices with the capabilities). Whilst the biometric security that you can use to authenticate payments is quicker and more secure than the current most popular method chip-and-pin.
Once the first phones start being tapped to pay for coffee in Costa or to take the tube, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes the norm. Five years ago tablet computers were a small part of the market, now thanks to the iPad they’re everywhere.
Kezia Joseph says...NO
Apple Pay is not going to be bring about the change the industry is expecting. The manufacturer carries a loyal customer base and a strong brand name, however that won’t be enough to boost adoption of its payment service, let alone mobile payments across the board.
It’s hard to predict how consumers will react to the added feature and just because something is available, or easy to use, doesn’t mean that people will use it. WiFi calling was recently introduced onto the latest iPhone handsets but the feature doesn’t appear to have become a necessity overnight, very much remaining an added convenience.
Contactless payments have reached the point where it is becoming many people’s standard, and preferred, way to pay. Tapping a card is not a far stretch from tapping a phone and, with Apple Pay only available on the latest generation of iPhones, not every iPhone user will have this option.
As contactless and mobile payments move into the forefront of everyday use, the question must be raised on how Apple plan to appeal to everyday users. Apple Pay is a service that everyone can use, assuming everyone has the latest generation iPhone or an Apple Watch. However, the manufacturer’s wearable failed to generate the predicted sales. If one innovative product failed to change the market, it seems unlikely that Apple Pay will do any better.
The issue of payments goes hand in hand with security, and contactless is incredibly popular because people trust their banks. But can we trust Apple? This was a question asked by a number of A-list celebrities when their iCloud security became ‘compromised’ last year. Apple are no doubt hoping to storm to success in the UK but after such a high profile security breach, it’s hard to see why users should trust Apple with their card information. If Jennifer Lawrence couldn’t trust them, why should we?