So today is Apple Pay day in the United Kingdom.
I always thought Apple should have launched Apple Pay first in the UK. Or at least, prioritised it faster. As a country, we are far happier with the contactless method of payment. The banks — in particular (and rather ironically) Barclays — have done a lot of work to boost the contactless profile.
I say ironic because sadly, Barclays and Barclaycard aren’t launching in the first wave today. I’m a huge Barclays contactless customer, thanks to their bPay wristband. I’ve also got a bPay sticker on the back of my iPhone 6 — which I use daily.
However now that Apple Pay is available… and now I can’t actually use my Barclays/Barclaycards with it… I don’t feel as content.
Adding the cards was child’s play this morning. I’ve got all my NatWest/RBS cards activated. I tried my M&S/John Lewis ones as I couldn’t remember who powered those… and I got the ‘sorry your issuer does not support Apple Pay’ message.
I do wonder just how much damage this does to the image of those brands who aren’t supporting Apple Pay. On the face of it, it’s ridiculous to evaluate an institution or brand based on whether they support Apple Pay. But Apple, as I have long maintained here on Mobile Industry Review, does strange things to the mind. There is a different reality when it comes to Apple. Fiercely (or maybe just ‘generally’) loyal Apple customers tend to get quite spirited with anything surrounding the brand.
Reading the reaction on Twitter today, I was struck by how much of it appeared to demonstrate the utter dejection of some customers at the ‘incompatibility’ of their banking institutions.
Just how much is the “Apple glow” worth?
And how bad will it be for customers of non-supported banks, having their friends rubbing Apple Pay in their faces at every single opportunity?
Will Apple Pay actually push people into opening banks with competing and ‘compatible’ institutions? I do wonder.
In the short term I can clearly see a load of excitement as newly connected Apple Pay customers rush out to find a contactless payment terminal (Quick tip: Pret, Boots, McDonalds, WH Smiths, Cafe Nero, M&S). I wonder how long this will last…
I can imagine it lasting for the Coffee run.
Further, I can imagine many individuals leaving their wallets at the office as they stroll out to get their morning coffee, delighting in being a further part of the Apple financial ecosystem.
And it’s that financial ecosystem where things could get particularly exciting in the next few years.
How long before you’ll be able to pay with your iTunes account? 😉
How long before your iTunes account is made the priority method of payment?
How long before your iTunes account becomes Apple Bank?
How long before you’re moving your overdraft and mortgage to Apple with 3 taps on the Apple Bank app? 😉
Bring it on.
I’m off to try out Apple Pay again.