Panelists: Apple Pay Driving Demand from Retailers, Consumers; Where’s Loyalty Lure? (Jan. 27, 2015)
Apple Pay clearly has awakened consumer curiosity about mobile payments, but the surprise is it’s also generating unprecedented retailer interest in adding NFC acceptance at the POS, according to payments industry panelists speaking yesterday at the Mobile Payment Leadership Summit in Phoenix. “We’re getting calls from merchants asking us how they can add Apple Pay, which is a first,” said Marc Castrechini, vice president of product management at Cayan (formerly Merchant Warehouse), a provider of payment technologies and processing solutions.
Retailer and consumer willingness to explore Apple Pay also is a positive sign for the U.S. migration to EMV chip cards, which is gathering momentum this year in advance of the October 2015 liability shift, said Melanie Gluck, vice president, mobile and e-commerce specialist at MasterCard. Because Apple Pay carries EMV-level transaction data, its positive reception by consumers is accelerating overall efforts to block card fraud, she explained.
The consistency of the payment card brand experience within Apple Pay is one reason it’s a hit, according to Prasanna Laxminarayanan, vice president, innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa. “Consumers like seeing an exact image of their cards on their phones, and issuers also can see where and when cardholders are activating Apple Pay, which is a big plus for them,” he says.
But Apple Pay could be even more useful to consumers and retailers if it supported a loyalty or rewards element, said Gil Luria, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, echoing a common theme during the day’s presentations and discussions. “Amazon knows so much about what I’m doing when I’m shopping online, but Apple Pay goes out of its way to tell consumers that, for security, neither Apple nor the retailer knows details about the transaction,” he notes. “The promise of mobile payment is that it can completely replace the big fat wallet you carry around with all your payment and loyalty cards too, and we’re not there yet.”
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