Apple Pay is not the first mobile payment solution in the world.
But the Cupertino company’s new cardless payment feature, which is due to launch in the US next week is bidding to become the first widely adopted mobile payment platform, aiming to succeed in becoming mainstream where Google’s Wallet comprehensively failed.
Apple’s detractors have spent the weeks since Apple Pay was first introduced bemoaning the fact that mobile payments are being seen as new technology.
There is some justification in this. Apple has a habit of coming late to the party and claiming it’s first.
FaceTime is a great example of this.
But the fact is, Apple Pay has a far higher chance of succeeding compared to Google Wallet.
The search giant’s payment solution is three-years-old already, but has not reached anything close to critical mass.
The widespread fragmentation of Android hasn’t helped matters, with different versions on a series of different phones meaning Google has not been able to offer a more uniform approach.
That, of course, impacts on security. Offering a rock-solid secure payment service is essential when it comes to stumping up for goods on your mobile.
This is one key area where Apple is able to trump Google. Its Touch ID fingerprint scanner makes it much harder for fraud to be committed.
Then there’s the fact that Apple has played hardball with credit card companies across The Pond, securing low fees for transactions thanks to fraud being less of a concern than on Google Wallet.
This means more banks and credit companies have been willing to sign up. All the big players are on board from the start.
There’s something to be said for Apple’s approach of doing it right rather than doing it early.
New leaks of Apple’s Pay’s set-up process also show this is as seamless as mobile payments can get.
You can either fill in details when setting up iOS or add them via the Settings app.
Users also have the option to scan cards using the iPhone’s camera.
The fact that it can be tied to an iTunes account, with recent transactions viewable and expired cards automatically replaced gives Apple Pay customers a strong measure of control.
This is hugely appealing, especially given Apple has already said it won’t track purchase history or share such data with advertisers.
Google Wallet isn’t an inherently bad solution.
It’s just that Apple’s so–called ‘walled garden’ approach means that it can offer a far more secure environment, appealing to everyone involved, from customers to credit card execs.
The list of partners in the US is already impressive and growing. A UK launch will likely only come if Apple can make it work.
But early signs suggest all will be well with this new way to pay and that we should be getting a slice of the action sooner rather than later. Here’s hoping.