Earlier this month, PYMNTS.com, a US-based analytics company with a focus on payment platforms, published data from their recent study on Apple Pay usage for in-store payments in the United States. The insights say it is not a habit yet. Why?
Since 2014, Apple has done a lot of work in convincing the entire nation that Apple Pay is the modern way to pay. But Americans have been using plastic cards with magnetic strips to pay for goods and services for generations. Businesses have needed to start accepting contactless payments. People have needed to own the right device. Banks have needed to have an agreement in place with Apple Pay. And the same banks have been modernizing and issuing new contactless cards for people at the same time. So people still do struggle using mobile phones for in-store payments instead of plastic cards. But if they use mobile payments, it is Apple Pay what people use. It is still a hell of work for Apple to increase the Apple Pay adoption rate in the United States, in-store in particular.
In Europe in the meantime, mobile payments are on the sharp rise. Mobile payments are gradually becoming popular with Europeans as an easy, convenient, and secure payment option. Contactless payments were already common in Europe years earlier as in the United States and people have been attuned to tapping for things and seen the convenience of ditching their wallets for just a mobile phone. Mobile payments are on the rise globally, too. Nowadays, about half of mobile phone users worldwide are using mobile payments.
Engage Customers Through Mobile Wallets
With mobile wallets — such as Google Pay and Apple Wallet working hand-in-hand with Apple Pay — people can keep not just their payment cards, but also their digital loyalty cards, airline, train, and bus boarding passes, event tickets, discount coupons, booking confirmations, and more in a single app. This creates the perfect opportunity for small businesses. Businesses can engage with customers by push notifications and location-specific messages sent to their mobile phones. People already have wallets on their mobile phones so there is no need for you to pay a fortune to get your own mobile app. And people don’t need to download any additional apps because of your loyalty program.
Using the features of mobile wallets — in a very cost-efficient manner — your own branded digital content for mobile wallets would become a new communication channel for you. It is interactive and allows for sending push notifications with your deals, promotions, and discounts, or exclusive content directly to the lock screen of your customers. It also can be offered on the lock screen of the mobile phone by the mobile wallet upon arriving at pre-defined places together with location-specific messages.
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