Some of the payment industry’s biggest names speak their mind about Apple Pay
After a long wait, Apple Pay has finally launched in the UK, giving customers across the country the chance to pay for their purchases using their iPhone 6, 6 Plus or Apple Watch.
Launching at more than 250,000 locations across the UK, Apple Pay looks set to revolutionise the mobile payments industry, but what do the technology experts really think about it?
Dave Hobday, UK managing director, Worldpay
“Apple Pay will revolutionise the way we shop, helping to create the UK’s first ‘cashless generation’ for whom paying with cash is as alien as using a landline or renting a video. Young people have always been early adopters and will be quick to favour businesses who offer the convenience and flexibility of contactless technology. Those that don’t will miss out to their more savvy rivals.”
Sarah Kellett, associate director, consumer facing industries, Fujitsu UK Ireland
“The launch of Apple Pay is yet another step towards the mobile wallet and contactless agenda, and we expect this service will see significant pick up amongst iPhone users. Until contactless becomes more widely available however – on multiple operating systems and devices – the launch of Apple Pay is unlikely to revolutionise the retail payment landscape.
Having said that, retailers still need to be aware of new payment services such as Apple Pay, as these services are allowing customers to make payments from any location at any time, just by using their mobile device.
Retailers who fail to see the opportunity with Apple Pay and mobile payment services risk placing a barrier at the point of sale. Ultimately the more payment options available to customers, the easier it will be for retailers to make transactions and as a result, sales.”
Jeremy Nicholds, executive director of mobile at Visa Europe
“Consumer demand for mobile contactless payments combined with the fact that 70 percent of people in the UK own a smartphone means that the pieces of the puzzle are coming together for a seismic shift from plastic to digital. With today’s launch of Apple Pay, it is clear that mobile solutions will fast become a preferred way to store and use a credit or debit card.”
Dr Felicity Hardley, senior lecturer, Westminster Business School
“Apple Pay might become the preferred form of contactless payments for consumers before long. Today’s launch of Apple Pay could dramatically accelerate the use on contactless payments by consumers and could increase sales of iPhones and the Apple Watch.
A significant number of consumers already have the technology to utilise Apple Pay which means they can ‘try it out’ with relative ease and no additional expense, unlike the new Barclaycard wearable contactless payment devices.
Consumers are increasingly comfortable with contactless payment methods due to being able to use debit or credit cards on public transport and in many retail outlets already. This takes out some of the fear factor in this new payment method. The fact that Apple already has so many major retailers signed up is the final signal to many consumers that this payment method should be safe.”
Mark Barnett, president of MasterCard UK Ireland
“Innovation in UK payments means it’s fast becoming the most advanced market in the world and the arrival of Apple Pay heralds this new era. We will see more change in the next five years than we’ve seen in the last 50, bringing even more convenience and security for consumers,”
Regardless of the device they use, our aim is to give consumers a safe and seamless payment experience that offers all the benefits and guarantees of any MasterCard transaction. Our work with Apple embodies the digital transformation of our company and solidifies our commitment to more secure, digital payments.”
Dan Wagner, CEO of Powa Technologies
“The launch of Apple Pay shows that consumer demand for mobile payments is rising and it will continue to rise. However, the platform has some constraints as it is only available to iPhone 6 and Apple Watch users and it relies on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. What shoppers really want is a ubiquitous solution which allows them to buy products anywhere, at anytime, from a range of mediums, using any digital device.”
Sean O’Connell, chief marketing product officer, Skrill Group
“UK consumers are primed for contactless payment solutions. More than 58 million contactless cards are now in circulation, and contactless payments were up 255 percent in 2014.
Although initially wary of investing in contactless, retailers now see it as a very real part of their payments mix and consumer expectations have increased exponentially. Behaviour change, such as that driven by Transport for London, is evident when you watch the millions of commuters swipe in and out of buses, tubes and trains every morning.
As a result, I’m much more bullish on success for Apple Pay in the UK – or at least London – than in the US where acceptance has lagged significantly. Here, Apple can benefit from a contactless card “training wheels” period.”
Howard Berg, SVP of UK Ireland, Gemalto
“Contrary to 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.
But in order for consumers to embrace these services, there needs to be an element of trust. Something all providers must realise if they are to succeed in driving adoption. Consumers have extremely high expectations and expect service providers to have solutions in place that don’t compromise their privacy and security. Should this ever be compromised trust will be lost and will be very hard to win back.
Trust and reach will be key components in the widespread adoption of mobile payment technology.”
Jonathan Kaftzan, director of product marketing, mobile financial services, Amdocs
Apple Pay and other payment players are only payment gateways in a way and rely on the fact people have bank accounts and credit cards. But, what about the two billion people around the world who don’t have bank accounts? For them, mobile money services provided by telcos (and in some cases in partnership with banks) are probably the best alternative they have for a formal bank account.
In this way, operators are in the best position to “bank the unbanked” due to their unique assets, which includes the relationships they already have with pre-paid customers, an existing distribution network based on an extensive network of agents, and of course, a mobile network.
Dan Salmons, managing director, PayPoint Mobile and Online
I think there’s a very sound logic for online and mobile merchants to incorporate Apple Pay – and the reason why? To improve the consumer experience. Payment experiences today are not always that smooth on a website. What’s more, when this is translated to a mobile device, the effort of entering card details for example, can be a big put-off for customers. As more and more customers move to use their mobile devices for purchases, what digital merchants need is an elegant payment experience, and ideally one that millions of consumers already have access to.
This is where Apple Pay comes in. It triumphs the many other generic digital payment solutions through both the brand awareness and reach that Apple has. Unless you are a payments geek, you could be forgiven for not noticing when other e-wallets have come and gone. But when Apple does something – whether it introduces a new add-on or provides an update – consumers take notice. In many cases, people find that they already have the device to do it (or use it).
As a result, I believe there will be very rapid acceptance of Apple Pay for digital payments here in the UK, far faster than in face-to-face retail where there is a dependency on the roll-out of physical terminals.”
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