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The world is awash with online payments systems, but few have been able to drum up as much mass market appeal as the recently launched Apple Pay. Tim Cook – CEO of Apple – has been looking for a breakthrough technology, and Apple Pay is one such system that appears headed for a meteoric rise to super-stardom. With the launch of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay now offers a mobile payment option for users with the latest Apple devices. These include the iPad Mini 3, iPad Air 2, Apple Watch devices, iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6. With this mobile payments solution, customers can easily access their scanned credit cards for contactless payment processing.
The benefits of this new technology include not having to hand over debit cards or credit cards to anyone. Customers simply have encrypted device account numbers assigned to their cards for payments processing. This makes all purchases private and customers don’t have to worry about showing plastic to store clerks. The thinking behind this is that less visibility of your actual debit and credit cards translates into greater safety. Soon after its rollout, Apple Pay was fully operational on American Express, MasterCard and Visa.
Big Retailers Give Apple Pay the Cold Shoulder
Not everyone is happy with Apple Pay. Take CVS and Rite Aid for example – these nationwide pharmacies have disabled the technology required to process Apple Pay purchases and NFC (Near Field Communications) systems are non-operational at these retailers. It appears to be a combination of reluctance to update technology, since they already have their own mobile payments system under development – CurrentC by the Merchants Customer Exchange consortium. As it stands, big retailers like Wal-Mart Stores, Target and even Best Buy are not interested in partnering with Apple Pay either. But that hasn’t stopped customers from accessing this technology. We learned that within 72 hours of its market debut on the 20th October 2014, Apple Pay already had over a million credit cards registered to the service.
Will Europe Take an Interest in Apple Pay Anytime Soon?
It all boils down to cost – dollars and cents. In America, the big retailers work on incredibly tight margins and if they can shave off a percent on exchange fees with credit card companies, they will. The fees charged by MasterCard and Visa may not seem like much, but they are substantial in volume trading. Figures in the range of 1% to 3% are presently added to the total purchase amount. There has been so much outrage against these extortionary prices that the Canadian business units of MasterCard and Visa will be lowering their swipe fees for retailers. With recessionary fears rife in Europe, cost savings are a big deal.
Europeans will closely be watching how many banks and credit card unions begin signing up for this service. Recent US additions include Navy Federal Credit Union, US Bancorp, PNC Bank, Bank of America, Capital One, America Express, and Barclaycard. As you might expect, it is for cost purposes that so many retailers prefer to offer customers discounts for cash payments. It makes perfect sense that Europeans will look to see how well Apple Pay is received in the US, moving into 2015. If the numbers are right, there should be no reason why this technology doesn’t make its way across the Atlantic into the checkout aisles of many European retailers.
But before any of that happens, the big US retailers (Target, Wal-Mart Stores, Rite Aid and CVS) want to see if the MCX CurrentC technology gains any traction with customers.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]