Apple Pay and the Apple Watch: Initial Feedback

Apple Pay is the mobile payment option by Apple. It is available on Apple Watch, iPad Mini 3, iPad Air 2, and iPhone 5 & 6 models. To use Apple Pay, your Apple device has to have the NFC radio antennae or the Touch IS sensor and the correct iOS. It has tie-ups with American Express (ExpressPay), MasterCard (PayPass), and Visa (PayWave). The Apple Pay on the Apple Watch is automatically disabled when you buy it and will have to be activated using a special code. Sensors on the watch ensure that Apple Pay can only be used by the watch’s owner so anyone who wears the watch other than the owner activates the disable feature.

Paying with an iPhone 6

The Apple Pay was revealed last September 2014 by CEO Tim Cook and was launched the following month when the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus was released. According to Apple, a security code is generated for every transaction and Apple has no intention of tracking transactions. A small transaction fee is charged to the owner which is fractionally lower than normal bank charges for online payments. If the Apple device is lost, Apple Pay can be disabled remotely using the Find My iPhone service.

Last year, there were over 220,000 places in the US where the Apple Pay was accepted. Apple Pay can only be used in US stores although the company plans to expand the service eventually to other countries.

As of April this year, the feedback on Apple Pay has encouraging with 66% of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners signing up for the security code. Of the 66%, 2/3 has tried Apple Pay. Compared to other mobile wallets, Apple Pay has done significantly better on its virgin run. The biggest issue thus far with Apple Pay is the cashiers’ unfamiliarity with the payment scheme which leads to payment delays, double postings, or incorrect postings. Obviously these are just birthing blues similar to what happened with LoopPay and other mobile payment methods.

Also this April, Apple added more banks and credit unions to Apple Pay which means there are now 180 financial institutions that support Apple Pay across the country. To make 2015, the year of Apple Pay according to Tim Cooks, more interesting a new mobile payment system is set to be launched by the middle of the year. It’s called CurrentC by Merchant Content Exchange. They plan to be a very aggressive competitor to Apple Pay and uses bar codes to complete the transaction. This could very well make 2015 the year mobile payments take over.