Apple Lures Consumers into Mobile Payments

In any checkout line these days, many consumers are staring down at their smartphones. With its new iPhone 6 and Apple Pay system, Apple Inc. hopes to get many of them to use the same phone like a credit card, promising easier and more secure transactions.

Previous efforts to replace plastic credit cards with digital transactions have met limited success, save for the use of text messages to donate to charities. Nearly half of Americans say they are uninterested in using their smartphones for credit card purchases, according to a survey by CreditCards.com, a division of Bankrate.com.

But breaches of security card data from retailers such as Home Depot and Target has heightened the appetite for new solutions, and Apple's entrance into mobile pay could benefit from its powerful brand image and control over the hardware and software of its smartphones (and its new Apple Watch, also equipped for Apple Pay).

It's "an opportunity to attract millions or hundreds of millions of people into mobile payments," said Marc Massar, senior vice president for enterprise product and emerging solutions at Chase Paymentech, an arm of the banking behemoth, which is working closely with Apple Pay. "This is one of those watershed moments."

Mobile payments aren't new. Several companies have tried and failed over the last decade or two. The most celebrated attempt was Google's "Wallet."

The technology didn't take off, Massar said, because attempts were limited to specific credit cards, or certain phones, or required pre-payment.

"This time it's different," he said.

Mastercard, Visa, American Express and other big names have signed on. So have a long list of major retailers, including Target and McDonald's.

The ground was laid for Apple in 2009, when the federal government passed a law that made it much more difficult for credit card companies to require victims of fraud to pay for unauthorized...

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Apple Lures Consumers into Mobile Payments

In any checkout line these days, many consumers are staring down at their smartphones. With its new iPhone 6 and Apple Pay system, Apple Inc. hopes to get many of them to use the same phone like a credit card, promising easier and more secure transactions.

Previous efforts to replace plastic credit cards with digital transactions have met limited success, save for the use of text messages to donate to charities. Nearly half of Americans say they are uninterested in using their smartphones for credit card purchases, according to a survey by CreditCards.com, a division of Bankrate.com.

But breaches of security card data from retailers such as Home Depot and Target has heightened the appetite for new solutions, and Apple's entrance into mobile pay could benefit from its powerful brand image and control over the hardware and software of its smartphones (and its new Apple Watch, also equipped for Apple Pay).

It's "an opportunity to attract millions or hundreds of millions of people into mobile payments," said Marc Massar, senior vice president for enterprise product and emerging solutions at Chase Paymentech, an arm of the banking behemoth, which is working closely with Apple Pay. "This is one of those watershed moments."

Mobile payments aren't new. Several companies have tried and failed over the last decade or two. The most celebrated attempt was Google's "Wallet."

The technology didn't take off, Massar said, because attempts were limited to specific credit cards, or certain phones, or required pre-payment.

"This time it's different," he said.

Mastercard, Visa, American Express and other big names have signed on. So have a long list of major retailers, including Target and McDonald's.

The ground was laid for Apple in 2009, when the federal government passed a law that made it much more difficult for credit card companies to require victims of fraud to pay for unauthorized...

Comments are closed.