Otherwise, Apple Pay is great, fabulous, wonderful, nearly perfect and already a hit among iPhone, iPad, Watch, and now Mac users. Oh, and by the way, Apple Pay on the web already challenges PayPal, Braintree, and others to become the 5th most used payment technology on the web. Mostly. Kinda sorta.
Touch To Buy
What could be easier than a simple fingerprint touch to buy something? Alright, it’s not quite that easy, but it’s as easy as it gets short of a mind reading machine. Use Touch ID for easy purchases using iPhone and iPad. Ditto for Watch, but you need an iPhone for that, too. Ditto for Mac with the Apple Pay on the Web option, soon to be available on the MacBook Pro late 2016 models.
Therein lies Apple’s problem. If you’re Apple centric, you get Touch ID everywhere. A company called SimilarTech, which tracks such things, already has Apple among the Top 5 of the Top 10-thousands Sites which take payments. That’s not quite as good as it sounds because Apple Pay remains less than 10-percent of leader PayPal, but not bad for being out just a couple of months.
What’s interesting about the chart is how quickly Apple Pay made the top tier of websites, and the fact that Google Wallet is nowhere to be seen, and online giant Amazon’s Amazon Payments is so far behind. Apple Pay shows up only on a thousand or so websites while PayPal has over 1-million and Google Wallet 13,000.
Since iPhone, iPad, and Mac are minor players when it comes to marketshare, that means Apple’s customers use Apple Pay to a disproportionate rate.
What’s the conundrum here?
It’s that marketshare vs. usability issue that has both haunted Apple and helped make the company successful for decades. With few exceptions, everything Apple does is lower marketshare, higher premium end of the product spectrum. That automatically limits how far into the marketplace Apple Pay can go, yet, we see rapid growth when compare to online payment methods that have been around for years, have much greater marketshare, but obviously far less customer engagement.
When it comes to Apple’s App Stores, the company’s customers spend more per device than competitor’s app stores, and the same appears to be holding true for Apple Pay. Sure, it’s only on Apple, but it works so well that it get used more frequently than many of the dozens of online payment systems.
How can Apple add to the marketshare end while retaining security? I have an idea. Apple Pay via Touch ID on the new MacBook Pro models uses a built-in secure enclave chip. The fingerprint gets read and saved in a secure place. How about a Bluetooth keyboard with Touch ID? Or, a Bluetooth smart mouse with Touch ID? Or, a simple Bluetooth device that only does Touch ID for Windows PCs?
It could happen. It won’t. But it could.