Will Apple Pay Find Success In The UK?

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NEWS ANALYSIS: What does the technology industry make of Apple’s expansion?

Fans of mobile payments were rejoicing last night when it was announced that Apple Pay would finally be coming to the UK next month.

From July, users will be able to make purchases, use vouchers, and complete contactless transactions using just their Apple device, offering a quick and easy way to get around.

But what does the technology industry think of the news? TechWeekEurope asked, and they answered…

Mark Barnett, President of MasterCard UK & Ireland

“Apple Pay, combined with MasterCard’s digital payments technology, gives consumers a simple, convenient and secure way to shop. MasterCard was first in the world to offer contactless and mobile payment solutions, and Britons have rapidly adopted tap and pay behaviour.

contactless paymentsIn the UK, we make more than 10 contactless payments every second, and on Transport for London alone, commuters tap to pay over one million times a day. With this clear shift in payment preference so strongly embedded, we are excited that MasterCard cardholders will soon be able to make payments from some of their Apple devices, knowing that every purchase is secure and offers all the same guarantees and benefits they’ve come to expect from using their MasterCard.”

Anthony Duffy, director of retail banking in UK & Ireland at Fujitsu

“Apple Pay’s announcement that it will land in the UK this summer is exciting and to be welcomed. It is likely to act as a major stimulus in the development of electronic wallets in Britain. It will also provide Apple with a head start over rivals Android Pay and Samsung Pay, neither of which have announced plans yet to enter the UK market.

Those who are already familiar with using contactless payments will soon find that using an electronic wallet via their mobile phone is a simple and logical next step. Indeed, the growth in contactless payments is already growing and looks set to accelerate further, driven by three key developments – increased consumer comfort in using non-traditional payment options; a continued shift to internet shopping; and the appearance of new, additional payment options such as Apple Pay.

However, others may be concerned by perceived security issues. For this reason, the industry will look to continue its twin approaches of deploying state-of-the art security and communicating its risk mitigation approaches to both current and prospective users. Apple Pay has elected to deploy finger print technology on its mobile phones, while, at Fujitsu, we believe that iris recognition technologies offer the ultimate form of protection”.

Dennis Jones, CEO, Judo Payments

Apple-Pay“Apple Pay coming to the UK is the next step to not just a cashless, but also cardless society which I believe is just years away. Apple starting with 250,000 locations in the UK shows Apple’s commitment to a larger launch than in the US. And for us in the UK’s capital we can say goodbye to the Oyster card with Apple Pay’s seamless process coming to TFL from July. Not only that but Apple Pay is coming to social in the form of immediate payment using Pinterest pins – this area seems rife for expansion in the coming months/years.”

Jeremy Nicholds, executive director of mobile at Visa Europe

“Contactless payments are already widely embraced by millions of Visa cardholders across the country every day, so adding the simplicity and convenience of Apple Pay will catapult mobile payments into the mainstream.

If people leave the house with one item, it’s their mobile phone – we’ve worked alongside Apple and the various banks involved to give customers a really seamless and exciting new payment experience through Apple Pay, so they have new ways to use their favourite Visa cards on the go and when shopping in the apps they love.”

Dave Hobday, UK Managing Director of Worldpay

“For Worldpay, the roll out of Apple Pay in the UK is an exciting step in the evolution of contactless payments and heralds the future of retail. Apple Pay is essential for swiftly bringing secure and private mobile payments at scale to the High Street, providing shoppers with yet another quick and easy alternative to cash. Retailers who fail to adopt this new technology will quickly lose out to their savvier rivals.”

Geoff Blaber, vice president, Americas at CCS Insight

“Apple Pay is a clear example of where numbers count. Apple’s scale gives it an inherent advantage over rivals and it’s one of the few apps that really does unlock new potential when it is always available on your wrist. The company has done well to win support from London’s transportation system, as Apple Pay launches in UK, it offers a large installed base of users immediate benefit on a daily basis”

Nick Barnett, CEO of Appsme

“The fundamental benefit of services like Apple Pay is convenience, not only for the customer but for business owners with a high store footfall or regular lunchtime rush. Assuming the purchase is of low value (the limit for contactless payment is £20), the need to dig out a card or carry out a time consuming transaction is completely removed. A few minutes of saved time for each payment can make day-to-day business management duties that bit easier to get through.

shopping1While businesses must initially invest to replace or upgrade their payment system or PDQ machine in store, there are tangible benefits in getting ahead of the game and making the customer experience easier.

For customers, the prospect of paying for their daily coffee or a haircut on their phone is new, but not alien. Even so, retailers should prepare for questions from customers who aren’t aware of the system’s security measures.  Card numbers aren’t stored on the device or by Apple, but are instead assigned a unique number which is encrypted and stored securely within the iPhone or Apple Watch. If a phone is lost or stolen, payments can be suspended remotely.

We expect larger players and chains to sign up to Apple Pay relatively quickly, but it remains to be seen whether independent stores will bite the bullet immediately. Until results and positive customer feedback roll in from larger brands, and independents feel they can fully weigh up the benefits, uptake may be a slow burn.”

Spiros Theodossiou, VP of product strategy, Skrill

“The payments industry has a lot to thank Apple for – not the least for making a lot of people familiar and comfortable with online payments and digital wallets.

While Apple Pay has seen slower than anticipated adoption in the US, much of this is due to the far smaller base of places where Apple Pay can be used (contactless terminals) there. The good news for Apple is that the UK has embraced contactless payment methods with 58m contactless cards issued and a 330.8 percent rise in contactless payments in 2014, according to the UK Cards Association.

As consumers do more on their mobile phones, they demand more connected and immediate experiences. This is what is driving the likes of Apple, Google and Samsung to tackle the payments space.

Such brands help build credibility among those consumers previously cautious of adopting mobile payments. This is good news for the digital payments industry as a whole and will only accelerate the migration away from cash to more convenient payment methods such as digital wallets from providers like Skrill.

This is just one of multiple disrupting technologies that will impact banking and payments. Whether its mobile devices allowing instant access, or NFC being integrated into phones and wearables, or Facebook offering payments through messenger, payments is set-up for a revolution in the coming years. There is no doubt the relationship consumer have with banks, card schemes, phone manufacturers and technology companies will continue to change.”

Lee Perkins, managing director, Sage UK

“The world of business has learnt a huge amount from the consumer payments landscape. Pioneers like Apple Pay have accelerated the pace for the payments sector and agile businesses will soon follow suit.

2015 is set to be a milestone year for the future of payments as businesses, like consumers, seek more secure, transparent, automated payments processes to give greater accuracy, efficiency and control of their money.”

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