Apple Pay Connects With NFL
Today’s most modern payment process — mobile wallets — is quite a departure from your grandfather’s, your mom’s or, quite possibly, your older sibling’s.
In 1879, when the cash register debuted, cash was king, and it would reign unchallenged until 1950, when the first credit card — Diners Club — was established. But there was no fundamental change in payments until 2011, when Google Wallet was introduced. Google Wallet uses near field communication (NFC) to make secure payments quickly and efficiently, by simply tapping the phone on any PayPass-enabled terminal at checkout.
Although groundbreaking, Google Wallet did little to move the needle and get shoppers using mobile wallets. That didn’t happen until late last year, when Apple announced Apple Pay. At its announcement, Apple CEO Tim Cook described the credit card payment process as antiquated, calling the magnetic interface “outdated and vulnerable,” and its reliance on security codes insecure:
“We’re totally reliant on the exposed numbers, and the outdated and vulnerable magnetic interface — which by the way is five decades old — and the security codes which all of us know aren’t so secure.”
Apple struck a chord. The new process was so simple and efficient that payments made through Apple Pay accounted for between 0.1% and 1.6% of transactions at five top retailers in the month following the launch of the feature. That’s a heady figure, particularly because Apple Pay is only available on the newest iPhones.
In addition to the simplicity of use, Apple Pay is secure. The technology uses near-field communication (NFC) technology, which lets iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners pay for goods by holding their phones directly in front of payment terminals. It uses tokenization, authentication by fingerprint (Touch ID) and a secure method that isn’t part of iOS for storing the data. All those factors have made the technology attractive to a variety of businesses, from retailers such as Macy’s to organizations like the National Football League.
The NFL, in fact, showcased Apple Pay at this year’s Super Bowl, while using Retail Pro POS software as the backbone for all transactions. Visa actively incented customers to use the mobile payment technology by offering a $5 discount coupon to anyone who completed an Apple Pay demo. Further, Visa gave $10 to any one who loaded the credit card into their wallets or demonstrated that they already had done so.
It helped, of course, that there was higher than average iPhone 6 penetration on hand at the Super Bowl this year – according to pymnts.com, Visa noted that 35% to 40% of customers in the NFL shop were carrying around Apple’s newest phone. A quarter of the users put a Visa on their phone and took the $10 dollar coupon, though the majority — 75% — were happy simply with the $5 card they got for demoing the service. In the end, roughly 15,000 people came in to try out Apple Pay during the Super Bowl.
Retail Pro has provided the much-needed impetus for the growth in mobile payments with Apple Pay. It has proven that consumers will embrace the technology, provided it is reliable and easy to use. In response to the projected uptick in mobile payment usage, rivals PayPal and Google announced this week efforts to position themselves more competitively. PayPal will purchase Paydiant, a startup that helps companies such as Subway and Capitol One build mobile payments options, and Google unveiled Android Pay, an NFC-based solution that will serve as platform for third-party store and payment apps. If competition is good for business, then the mobile payment arena is doing very well indeed.
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