Apple Pay: the pros, the cons and the rivals
Similarly to the contactless credit and debit card payment function, Apple’s new contactless iPhone payment system allows customers to make faster, easier and safer payments to high-street stores, restaurants and real world locations.
So, how does Apple’s new product measure up?
• With Apple Pay, payments are simple. Once a user has stored their bank details into their Apple device, they will not have to re-enter them to make multiple payments. To complete transactions consumers must hold their devices near an NFC reader and confirm their identity via a fingerprint sensor. This seems less hassle when compared to the swiped credit and debit card payments.
• The fingerprint sensor means that Apple has taken incredible steps to protect their customer’s identity, so there’s no need to worry about identity theft because nobody has the same fingerprint!
• Apple is sensitive to their customers rights about data privacy. That’s why transactions will not be tracked and stored as data.
• A number of UK banks are already participating in Apple Pay including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, NatWest, Nationwide, MBNA, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank.
• If consumers were unhappy about the daily spending limit of other contactless payment methods, they won’t be impressed with Apple Pay’s £20 per day cap. However, this won’t be for long as Apple has issued a statement which claims that this will increase to £30 per day in September 2015.
• Unfortunately, not all owners of Apple products will be able to access Apple Pay as it is only available to those who own the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 or Apple Watch. On top of this, not all retailers will have payment systems that support NFC terminals.
• Commuters could face problems if their iPhones, iPad’s or Apple Watches run out of battery. “If an inspector asks you to touch your iPhone or Apple Watch on their reader, it will not be able to be read and you could be liable for a penalty fare,” Transport for London told The Guardian.
Despite the cons, other financial and technological organisations have jumped on the bandwagon in a bid to recreate Apple’s success by designing their own versions of the mobile wallet. Here’s what Apple’s competition looks like...
It’s a well-known fact that Apple and Google are constantly in fierce competition with each other – just take a look at the similarities between IOS and Android, Apple Maps and Google Maps, and so on.
When Apple announced plans for Apple Pay, the brains behind Google were already hard at work crafting a superior product. Like Apple Pay, Google’s contactless payment product enables users to store debit, credit cards and loyalty cards but the advantage that it has over Apple Pay is that it allows customers to redeem sales promotions on their mobile.
Barclays bank have created bPay, one of their new contactless payment methods where customers are given a contactless sticker that can be attached to most flat surfaces e.g. key fobs to make purchases. The mobility of bPay allows the product to be on hand at all times. By using a sticker, customers can avoid issues concerning the battery life of their handheld devices. As this makes the product so effortless to use, it can be considered a real rival to Apple Pay.
Each product has both its good and bad points and more big players in the financial industry are looking reciprocate the success of the mobile wallet. “Even the world's largest credit card companies are rushing to embrace Apple because they otherwise risk being cut out of the action”, says Ben Robinson, Chief Strategy Officer at banking software supplier Temeno.