Mobile Opportunities

Posted by Gracie Clemens

While 250,000 locations across the UK already offer the Apple Pay system, you’re able to use the system anywhere that allows contactless payments (IBT). According to the UK Cards Association, consumers spent over £2 billion using contactless payment methods in 2014, with 52.6 million transactions that were accounted for in March 2015 alone, and that’s without Apple Pay.

Brands involved so far:

It’s no surprise that the big brands are acting fast. Waitrose, Starbucks, Boots, M&S, TfL, Tesco and more are open for Apple Pay business and ready to process payments. While there’s a £20 maximum spend on simple transactions, this is set to rise in September with a software update option to allow higher amounts. It’ll be interesting to see the outcome of sales to come once people start scanning their phones.

Banks such as RBS, Nationwise, NatWest, Santander, Ulster Bank and MBNA are involved too. Even though banks like Barclays and HSBC aren’t as quick to jump on board, they’ve both signed up to join the Apple Pay cart in the near future.

Brand innovation:

We already know that mobile is the first touch-point for customers and now it’s likely to be the last one too. Apple Pay makes it easier for businesses to sell to their consumers with convenience and speed.

Real Business argues that the UK will adopt this payment system faster than the US due to the pre-existing foundation for contactless payments with debit and credit cards. Interestingly enough, Staples, a US company, has seen a 109% conversion increase after accepting Apple Pay — so it’ll be interesting to see the results once brands start getting contactless with Apple Pay. While the UK’s Apple Pay sales results aren’t quite out yet, research from RetailMeNot shows how using the new payment system could unlock an astounding £7.8 billion in sales.

So if you haven’t already, now’s the time to start thinking of ways to incorporate Apple Pay into your apps and marketing efforts as a brand. Given that Apple Pay relies on near-field communications (NFC) technology, brands can start thinking of ways they can combine geo-location and beacon technologies with Apple Pay.

Why consider Apple Pay?

As someone who uses my contactless payment card on a day-to-day basis, I’m a huge fan. We live in a non-stop digital world where we’re all just trying to keep up with the pace of emails, newsfeeds and cooking a healthy meal when we get home from work. As silly as it sounds, that two minutes I save not entering my PIN at a Tesco checkout makes all the difference and I find myself agitated when Sainsbury’s won’t let me swipe and go.

The size of the screen on an iPhone 6 is bigger, which makes it easier for me to use. When it comes to security, Apple has found a solution by using unique security codes for each transaction — so my security concerns have been put to rest. I’m already comfortable using contactless payments so when I’m ready for the iPhone 6 — I’ll be ready to get my Apple Pay fix.

If consumers are already comfortable using contactless cards, Apple Pay will be a natural evolution; it will feel convenient and eventually it will be expected.

If you miss out on Apple Pay then you’ll be missing out on sales. As a brand, it’s difficult to be everywhere and anywhere, but your consumers are on mobile and they’ll be trialling, if not using, Apple Pay. One thing’s for sure — Apple is giving us all an easier way to pay.

If you’d like to know how you can use Apple Pay or how it fits into your digital ecosystem, please drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you!

Read more on Apple Pay’s UK launch here:

Apple Pay launches in the UK today: How it works and where you can use it (Telegraph)

Using Apple Pay in the UK: Simple and brilliant but limited (IBT)

Apple Pay UK Launch: 5 things you need to know (Express)

What will Apple Pay mean for British SMEs and the UK’s retail industry? (Real Business)

Why Apple Pay needs to represent more than a payments service in the UK to tap contactless market (The Drum)

What does Apple Pay mean for the future of the Apple Watch? (Wearable Tech)

Apple Pay kick starts evolution of the mobile wallet (Campaign)

Apple Pay Tipped to Fuel Exta £7.8 billion in Sales for UK Retailers (PerformanceIN I Mobile)

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