Apple Pay made the first big splash into mobile payment acceptance as a mainstream option. Apple Pay offers a quick and easy way to use your compatible iPhone to make a purchase. When everything works, it is as simple as ABC. And it generally works every time.
It fails to work when the cashier hasn’t pressed a button on the till or the amount due is over £30. Lifting the limit for mobile payments over £30 really needs to happen immediately as its the biggest stumbling block for faster adoption. I don’t know the answer, but if you knew you were going to buy £50 in groceries, is it not possible to split the food into 2 transactions of £25 each, thereby getting around the £30 limit? If this is possible, why bother having the £30 limit in the first place.
The UK does not have Android or Samsung Pay yet. It is due to arrive this year and I am predicting for Samsung it will link up with the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S7. Samsung Pay is available in the USA, and in my opinion offers a better solution as the compatible Samsung phones can use both contactless and magnetic terminals, thereby being further accepted at more places instantly. Android Pay is also not available yet in the UK, but it is in the USA, and works similar to the concept used by Apple.
The world needs android pay to take off as most phones work with this operating system. This will push forward conversion across the industry regardless of platform.
So all seems rosy in the world of mobile payments? Not really. LG have thrown their hat in the ring saying they are going to launch their own payments system. Walmart too. Plus there are other large companies looking to provide mobile payment solutions. This is going to get messy as companies fight it out for market share and dominance. What we need is simplification. If its an iPhone you use only Apple Pay. If its an android phone then it should be just android pay and so on.
The problem at the moment is contactless payments like Apple Pay need transactions to include loyalty cards and vouchers. This is where it gets messy. Why should retailers share sensitive data with Apple or Google or Samsung? So what happens, retailers launch their own system so you could end up trying to remember which app you need in which store!
Another complication is that sometimes using for example Apple Pay is not the best solution. Take Wagamamas. MasterCard have an app that Wagamamas use that allows you to order food and drinks from your app. You can order more food during the meal too. And when finished eating, use the app to pay. It gets even better. Lets say you’re a party of 10. All 10 use the MasterCard app to pay for just the items ordered. The process of splitting the food/bill is a breeze. Of course the other benefit is the speed. No more waiting to order your food and drinks. And no more waiting for the bill to arrive. The benefit to the restaurant is a faster turnaround. The MasterCard app can be used by other places too. With its location settings on, it can alert you to a place nearby that accepts the app. There are other options too.
So at the moment, the options for mobile payments is just taking off and is looking like it is going to get messy before its gets refined!
What have been your experiences so far with contactless payments? Have you used another system or app that you would recommend?