APPLE PAY WHY IT COULD MEAN AN E-COMMERCE REVOLUTION

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The mobile payments service Apple Pay has been slowly expanding in availability since it was first announced in September 2014. So far, most attention has been on its use at contactless payment terminals in bricks and mortar stores; however, the service is also a payment option within a range of apps. What’s more, there is emerging evidence that this form of Apple Pay could, in the long term, prove a surprisingly big game-changer...

APPLE PAY: A SLEEPING GIANT IN E-COMMERCE?

A major intent of Apple Pay is to provide a much smoother and quicker alternative to cumbersome and time-consuming payment methods. Many owners of Apple Pay-compatible iPhones will be able to verify its success in this for payments at physical stores; however, traditional methods of buying online can be similarly awkward, thanks to the reams of forms that typically have to be filled in.

And, of course, there’s a lot of personal information that you will be entering into those forms – which is why millions of iOS device users should appreciate the many speed and security benefits of Apple Pay that remain intact with its use within apps. In-app Apple Pay is, we should emphasize, still expanding – but a closer look suggests that it could be helping Apple to forge a quiet revolution in online purchasing.

 

EARLY SIGNS OF A HIT IN THE MAKING

In a compatible app, paying with Apple Pay involves simply tapping on a ‘Pay with Apple Pay’ button before resting a finger on the Touch ID sensor to authenticate the payment. That’s it – and it’s available not just on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, but also the iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 3 and iPad Mini 4. We can expect the iPhone 5SE and iPad Air 3, both rumored for launch next month, to include in-app Apple Pay, too.

Best Buy, Target and B&H Photo are among the many companies already offering ApplePay in their apps. They have likely also already noticed a positive influence on their sales. Having inserted just a little extra code into their apps, a much less complicated arrangement than setting up a physical NFC terminal, interior design app Domino Go has, according to areport from Quartz, seen a 436% rise in its average daily revenue. Meanwhile, the men’s fashion site JackThreads has found that Apple Pay-using customers are 92% likelier than other prospective buyers to complete a transaction.

 

FAST SPEED AND TIGHT SECURITY - AN INCREDIBLY USEFUL COMBINATION

For many people, Apple Pay could still be far from a routine, everyday payment method for online shopping, as it clearly depends on companies taking the initiative to integrate it into their apps. However, the convenience of in-app Apple Pay can be so great that many iOS device users could grow to favor certain apps simply because they include it.

In our own experience, booking public transport through such apps, including the Trainline appin the UK, can be ideal for those occasions when you seek to travel to a particular place within relatively little time. There are no worries about having to slowly navigate a number of pages and carefully enter codes for the sake of security; with Apple Pay, the security barriers are built into the device itself. You only have to lower your finger onto that sensor.

There are other occasions when you might want to buy quickly without compromising your security. The Ticketmaster and StubHub apps, for example, enable you to snap up tickets for major music gigs and other “hot ticket” events that could otherwise sell out too quickly. And all of this isn’t even taking into account that, as your card details are never shared with the merchant, using Apple Pay is actually more secure than paying through a web browser.

 

WHAT COULD BE THE FUTURE FOR IN-APP APPLE PAY?

Especially excitingly, in-app Apple Pay is still largely unchartered territory; there could remain a wealth of possibilities just waiting to be realized. A good case in point is placing the Apple Pay button within in-app advertisements. In November, Instagram was rumored tobe testing such advertisements - and, this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted that such Apple Pay integration could makeits way into the main Facebook app andFacebook Messenger app.

This strategy could ease the process of buying goods featured in advertisements, and so prove a winner with both app users and advertisers. It’s benefits like these that could bring many more companies on board with Apple Pay. Ilia Papas, CTO of on-demand meal kit app Blue Apron, recently told Quartz that “our customers have definitely been asking for” the option of Apple Pay. If many other e-commerce firms have also been seeing this demand, the future for in-app Apple Pay looks very bright indeed.