The UK launch of Apple Pay will help to propel mobile payments into the mainstream market,
claim Visa and MasterCar.
The digital payment system hit the market this week and, as Sandra Alzetta, senior VP of Visa, explained to Mobile, the market is ready. She described the launch as a ‘natural evolution’, claiming that the capabilities are already in place to support mobile payments: ‘The indicators are there to show us that consumers will invest in Apple Pay; we have the ingredients there to launch something that will be very well placed for consumers.
‘Consumers enjoy the extra convenience of using Apple Pay as they take their mobile phones with them all the time. The payment system will add to the mobile offerings as an additional functionality feature. We think that consumers will invest in it – our research found that 60% of iPhone users said they would be interested in using their iPhone for payment.’
Alzetta continued: ‘We have a business base that is already enabled. The London transport system already has the capabilities in place; it is ready for it and consumers are ready for it. Contactless will move into the mainstream and become the standard method of paying.’
It is a view shared by digital security company Gemalto. Howard Berg, SVP of UK & Ireland, explained that many of Apple’s competitors in the market look set to benefit from its mobile payment service: ‘Contrary to the popular belief that the launch of Apple Pay would overshadow other market players such as Samsung Pay or Android Pay, in reality the move has been welcomed by competitors. All of the major players look set to benefit as a result of mobile payments being brought into the mainstream, creating a heightened awareness of NFC technology almost overnight.’
Berg explained that Apple has the market advantage by already creating a favourable user experience with Passbook. This allows the manufacturer to register users onto the mobile service through payment information already stored on their iTunes accounts.
MasterCard’s Mike Cowen, head of emerging payments products in UK and Ireland, claims that this advantage was a driving force behind Apple Pay’s US success, one which could put it in a strong position in the UK. He said: ‘People have been trying to deploy mobile payments and NFC projects for more than five years, and until now even the most successful registered tens of thousands of users.
‘The defining difference in Apple Pay, and the way it is being deployed, is that within 72 hours of its US launch, it has registered one million users. It is an order of magnitude bigger than anyone has managed to achieve in the preceding years.’