News & Views - Savantor

The potential impact of Apple Pay

Thursday, 09 July 2015
The big news this month has been the launch of Apple Pay, Apple's new contactless payment service, in the UK. There have been differing reactions from the Banks to the new service. Some, such as Nationwide, NatWest/RBS and Santander, have embraced the product and been in a position to offer it in conjunction with their cards immediately from launch on 14th July, heavily advertising its availability in the media. HSBC missed the launch date although the Bank is to make it available to its customers by the end of July, whereas Lloyds is looking at the autumn to offer the service. Barclays, on the other hand, initially seemed to want to go into competition with Apple, promoting use of its Pingit app in conjunction with the newly launched Zapp payment method. It has also unveiled its own new contactless payment tools in the form of a sticker, a keyfob and wristband. However, in response to customer demand the Bank is now promising its customers that the Apple Pay service will be available some time later this year, although no specific date has been given. On the retail side, Apple has managed to sign up a number of household names including Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Boots, Macdonald's, Lidl and Costa amongst others. Transport for London will also accept Apple Pay payments, enabling commuters to pay with their iPhone or Apple Watch in place of their Oyster Card or contactless payment card – a potentially significant factor towards consumer acceptance of Apple Pay as TfL provided arguably the single greatest boost to contactless usage in the UK in 2014. Apple Pay also has potential rivals in the form of Android Pay and Samsung Pay, although neither of these services has yet published a date to enter the UK market. The greatest consumer reaction towards the Apple Pay launch seemed to be frustration at those Banks which had not made it available to their customers, as evidenced by numerous postings on Twitter. Whether you are a fan of Apple or not, bearing in mind their brand loyalty and number and type of customers, it seems likely that its latest market offering will have a significant impact on the payments market in the UK, increasing competition amongst the mobile payments space and indicative of the consumer trend towards wanting to digitalise payment wallets on smartphones.
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