How Apple Pay Could Take Mobile Payments Into the Mainstream
The new Apple Pay system isn’t exactly groundbreaking, although it is revolutionary in some respects. The technology exists, and other companies already have similar products on the market. The problem, thus far, has been that relatively few users and retailers have found the idea of mobile payments enticing enough to use. It appears that that is about to change though, because as with most things in the tech industry, if Apple slaps its logo on it, people suddenly want it.
It appears that people are going to want it in high numbers as well. Lab42, a market research firm, conducted a study recently in which it was found that a huge amount of people would be willing to go out of their way to have access to Apple Pay. According to the results of a survey of 500 smartphone users, 45% of them would be willing to make the switch from a non-Apple device (either Android, Windows, or BlackBerry phones) to an iPhone simply for the ability to use Apple’s new system. The primary motivators for those willing to make the switch were increased security, convenience of not having to carry credit cards, and a simple setup.
“Mobile payments have been around for years, but many consumers are not yet familiar with them. With the launch of Apple Pay, we see that conversation opening up in a way we haven’t seen before,” said Jonathan Pirc, Founder of Lab42.
In all, 54% of respondents to Lab42’s study said they would consider using Apple Pay, while 23% said they would not, and 23% were not sure. There were also some big concerns among consumers. According to Lab42, “42% of respondents are worried about the inability use mobile payments if their smartphone battery died. Sixty percent said they are concerned their credit card information would get stolen via mobile payments, while 55% are worried about their smartphone getting stolen.”
Despite the fact that some people may be resistant to Apple Pay, or the idea of mobile payments in general, the future looks very bright. The numbers don’t lie, and only 16% of Lab42’s respondents said they were somewhat or very hesitant about making payments with their phone at some point in the future.
But that may be good news for Apple’s competitors as well. Mobile payment platforms, like Apple Pay, have yet to really take off into the mainstream. There’s been reluctance by businesses to adopt it, and many consumers are more likely to just bust out their debit cards at the register. However, if Apple Pay can gain enough traction in terms of usage that more and more companies are equipped with the necessary means to accept it, everyone will win in the long-term.
Basically, if the technology is mainstream, people will use it. Even those who don’t like Apple, or don’t have an iPhone, will flock to one of the competing services. Those services, since they have not been able to gain any real market traction on their own, look as though they are depending on Apple to take the concept to the masses. If the company’s track record of bringing other products into consumer’s lives — like tablet computers, for example — mobile payments may actually have a chance at supplanting traditional payment systems.
Not only are a lot of people willing to switch devices to access Apple Pay, but they’re also willing to make other concessions. Thirty percent of respondents said they would be willing to switch banks if it meant they could use Apple’s system, and 44% said they would open up a new credit card account.
Perhaps most important, people look as though they are willing to start using these systems in the very near future, with 35% of people saying they will likely adopt mobile payments within the next six months.