Alternative forms of money transaction are all the rage these days. Or are they?
By most accounts, Apple is the new trendsetter in this space. CEO Tim Cook made an audacious prediction at their January earnings call with investors, namely, that “2015 will be the Year of Apple Pay.”
With that, Apple has reportedly gone full tilt in its effort to attract new retailers to this transaction tool. Questions abound though about whether Cook’s prediction was overly optimistic amid quiet skepticim among retailers, analysts and even consumers. Among the concerns being voiced are lukewarm customer demand, retailers’ lack of access to back-end consumer data and the technological cost borne by retailers in facilitating payments.
Simply An Attention Getter?
Some see Apple Pay as nothing more than a well-orchestrated branding strategy, designed to build loyalty to their iPhone and smartwatch markets. But other industry experts see this as a brilliant move that will slowly take the proverbial bite out of retail transactions facilitated by the likes of Square and others. In the end, it’s apparent that the current buzz around Apple Pay has been less than remarkable, despite the company’s distinction as one of the most preeminent global consumer brands.
Still A Tiny Subset of U.S. Retail Transactions
According to a January 2015 online survey conducted by Verifone and Wakefield Research, mobile wallets account for only about 4% of in-store retail transaction payments in the U.S.
But hold your horses….
It’s still pretty early in the game for Apple. In fact, there are indications at the time of this writing that Apple Pay’s market share is starting to gain traction at a very healthy clip, and that it will demonstrate positive returns by year’s end.
But whether all the pontificating will indeed come to fruition is anyone’s guess. So being the opinionated writer I am, here is my best WAG -“Wild Ass Guess.”
Apple Pay Might Have Bite
And here’s why….
1. Brand Awareness: Apple’s highly recognizable name and worldwide credibility will win out over time. Barring a public relations nightmare, they simply have too much momentum behind them to fail at this.
2. Convenience: Frankly, I am over having to carry all those plastic cards in a wallet that makes the back pocket of my pants bulge. Mobile is the hot ticket these days, and the innovations taking place with the iPhone in this space are too robust to ignore.
3. Security: I asked financial services expert Brett King, author of the book Breaking Banks, for his take on Apple Pay and mobile security. His response: “Hands down, far more secure than credit card transactions.” Okay Brett, we get it!
4. Declining Costs for Retailers: The history of “Moore’s Law” suggests that Apple’s technological advancements in this space will lead to a precipitous decline in costs to merchants and retailers. This will be the tipping point to widespread adoption among businesses and resultant consumer interest.
5. Speed, Efficiency, and Privacy: If they can pull off the triple trifecta of speed, efficiency and privacy, it’s a foregone conclusion that the world will be their oyster.
Now take a bite out of that!
Michael Scott is a libertarian oriented writer located in Denver. He is also a Book Marketing Content Expert for authors seeking to create collisions with readers one book at a time. His work can be found at http://allthatbookjazz.com