Apple announced its Q1 FY2017 earnings yesterday. They sold a lot of iPhone 7’s and beat sales estimates. More interesting to me though was the news on Apple Pay … the number of Apple Pay users tripled in the past year, with hundreds of millions of transactions and billions of dollars in purchases in the December quarter alone. This represents nearly 500% increase for Apple Pay transactions year-on-year!
Forrester data shows that 11% of online consumers have used Apple Pay. Among those, almost ⅔ use Apple Pay all the time or frequently when it is available.
For full disclosure, I love Apple Pay – especially using it on my Apple Watch.
What does this mean for businesses?
First – at least my two cents – mobile payments are faster than chipped cards in store. I’m one of these people who uses Apple Pay if available.
Second – you know most of your customers aren’t downloading your app b/c their engagement with you is too infrequent. Conversion rates on smartphones are lower than on desktops – hard to fill out so many forms! Mobile payment services like Apple Pay take friction out of online buying. I even use it to reload my Starbucks card – as if that experience could get any better. It does with Apple Pay.
Improved security – as someone who has had my checking account and Paypal account among others hacked last year, I can’t wait until biometrics are required for all log in’s and payments.
And then imagine this future where commerce isn’t just on my phone, laptop, etc, but embedded in any device! …. I talk to my virtual assistant … let’s say my Echo or Google Home to order Chinese take out. Today I have to have stored payment credentials for every vendor. Blah. Imagine I order this take-out and my virtual assistant informs me that GrubHub has the fastest delivery and deal. If I don’t already have an account with them, they’ll push out a notification to my phone. I’ll simply pick up my phone, open the notification and confirm payment with a simple press of my thumb.
For more information on Forrester Research's take on mobile payments, please see the work of Brendan Miller – here is his forecast.
For more on our take on Apple's earnings, please see these Bloomberg video clips.