How Apple Pay will transform shopping
This article in last week’s Marketing Week regarding Apple Pay, made me chuckle. I was involved in the field marketing element of the Mondex trial in the mid 1990’s and we were so certain that it was going to be a runaway success, we were gutted when it bombed. I guess we were ahead of our time. I then went on to personally lose thousands in a micro-money investment overseas, again because I thought cash was on its way out and technological transactions were the way forward. Maybe it’s time I considered a career in futurology?! So, what is different now?
Well, we appear to have been ‘broken in’ by stealth. As consumers, we seem to have crossed the previous mindset barrier of electronic pay and micro pay because of day to day improved functionality and efficiencies we have enjoyed due to mobile parking, contactless payment and Oyster cards. We seem to have therefore morphed into accepting the concept of seamless payment using our beloved iphones (other brands are available) so the transition of now paying for the majority of small, convenience based purchases, should be a seemingly simple and painless transition. We managed to spend £2.32bn across 319 million transations in 2014, so I think it’s fair to say that we have indeed, had some practice!
According to the article, the UK’s 8 major banks and 250,000 retail locations are poised ready to support the launch of Apple Pay, Android and Samsung with Android Pay. Whilst I don’t pretend to understand the nuances of magnetic strip readers versus NFC, what I do understand is the efficiency this will offer to my time poor existence. The opportunity to pay for my petrol on my phone without entering a station, as touted by Shell, is an attractive proposition. However, with the move to convenience top up, Forecourts need to consider how to engage travellers and maximise that moment of truth, otherwise sales will suffer. Afterall, I’m sure I’m not the only one guilty of buying the odd chocolate bar/diet Coke/ newspaper as I queue up?
I have to say that I am again excited by electronic payments, but would like to remind those involved that the humble shoppers will need some education too. With the Baby Boomers (aka ABC1’s) controlling more and more of the disposable income, we need to ensure that we too are engaged, educated and ‘shown how’. This is an enormous opportunity to show and not just tell, let’s not forget the power of face to face knowledge share.