Bye-Bye Wallet, Hello Apple

March 30, 2015

Smartphones are frequently used during the buying process – usually as a research tool to do our homework before we commit to anything concrete. But mobiles aren’t just used for looking at reviews and company websites; figures I came across from The World Payments Report 2014 suggest that m-transactions will increase by a huge 60% this year. I think there may well be two words behind this prediction: Apple Pay.

Apple is by no means the first company to launch mobile payments, but this version – due to roll-out in Europe within months – is the one with the most potential to really take off. Admittedly, this is largely due to the popularity of Apple Products. The Custora E-Commerce Pulse Mobile Report claims that Apple devices continue to dominate e-commerce: in September 2014, 49.7% of online purchases were made via an iPhone.

Many big names have been quick to adopt Apple Pay Stateside – from McDonalds and Macy’s to Groupon and Uber. However, it’s by no means exclusive to huge enterprises.

So, what does Apple Pay really mean to marketers? Isn’t it just a payment functionality?

That’s where the Passbook app comes in. Passbook has been around since 2012, but – thanks to iBeacons – marketers can now “push” offers to users through it. For example, Starbucks knows when you are in close proximity to one of its stores, so your loyalty card will appear on your locked screen. And, because you can now use your phone to easily make the purchase, you’re likely to be more receptive to the offer.

There’s no official launch date over here as yet, but do you think Apple Pay could change the mobile marketing industry forever when it arrives? I wouldn’t like to be a manufacturer of leather wallets right now; that’s all I’m saying.