Apple Inc. launched Apple Pay on Monday, and this latest “evolutionary” product has created a major buzz in both the tech and business communities. Since launch, Apple Pay is available at locations in Canada and Australia when attaching United States based cards, and is available at 22,000 retailers in the US including McDonald’s, American Eagle, Walgreens, Panera, and RadioShack.
Users have had mixed reviews concerning Apple Inc.’s latest game-changing electronic pay system. Many users have reported an improved purchasing experience. At the same time, many have felt the need to ask, “What problem is Apple Pay looking to solve?” while some simply wonder about its application and adoption among businesses. While some early adopters are happy, this new feature has plenty of people waiting to see how the guinea pigs fare in this new age. Although Apple has officially listed an estimation in the tens of thousands of “Apple Pay ready” businesses, many workers in those establishments either do not know that the feature is available in their terminals, or the employees themselves have not been trained on how to walk customers through transactions.
Apple Pay is not a completely revolutionary product; there have already been other electronic wallet types of services that have done well. Google Wallet has so far been the most successful electronic wallet program, giving consumers the ability to use their phones as a medium to pay for products or services in the place of swiping a card or reaching for cash. What gives Apple Pay the edge in popularity and future adoption is that the process to complete a purchase is even more streamlined than what preceding services offered. When using Apple Pay, a consumer just needs to make sure that their iPhone 6 or supported Apple device is close to a Near-Field Communication (NFC) terminal, where the network communicates with the phone. To complete the purchase, the consumer just uses their index or thumbprint to act as a “signing” gesture, and the phone vibrates as a tactile response to the purchase as it gives the consumer a confirmation.
Apple Inc.’s foray into simplified electronic payments has given many a glimpse into the future. So far, many users of the new Apple Pay have actually reported good and convenient experiences, even if the establishment where the service was rendered did not know Apple Pay was available. In many reported transactions, customers simply walked themselves through paying for products and services in lieu of needing assistance because the process was just so simple for them.
There will be hiccups along the way before Apple Inc. realizes a full adoption of the market, and they understand that fact. Taking time and allowing the idea of an electronic service to develop as a more trusted idea of transacting pay between people and businesses is worth it to Apple Inc. as buzz continues to grow, because with Apple Pay, the company has reinforced a path for a fast and secure pay method that was started some time ago, but never realized its full potential.
Apple Pay will be a brand new stream of revenue for the company that already sits atop the tech world financially, but will also alter peoples’ decisions the next time they find themselves in the market for a new smartphone, and the iPhone 6 may end up being their phone of choice because of this new feature. Again, Apple Inc. has not created this method of transacting business, but as has been the case for some of Apple Inc.’s most signature products, they found a way to make it simple, more accessible, and “cool” for the masses even if it means the consumer pays more or does not have as many options at their hands to take part in the world of new technology. There have already been speed bumps on the road to public acceptance of Apple Pay, as many Bank of America customers have seen double charges for their purchases. Bank of America has since promised refunds to those customers, and although the cost will be fixed, the inconvenience seen in this example is the exact type of thing that scares people away from trying new features that do become, ultimately, more convenient.
The next step in the electronic wallets will likely be Android attempting to capitalize on the new all-of-a-sudden buzz surrounding electronic wallets. Apple Inc. will need to be on the look out as more people with non-Apple devices look to take part in the evolution of shopping made popular again by Apple Pay. The expectation is that Apple Inc.’s new service will change the culture of buying, because finally enough people are interested in electronic payments to bring full adaptation to fruition.
By LaBaron Jackson