“Wow, what just happened?” is the response I have been getting when using Apple Pay over the past few weeks. You hold your phone to the PayWave tap-and-go reader while resting your fingerprint on the scanner and with half a second for your card to appear on the screen a beep lets you know that your payment has happened. Most merchants are shocked at how fast everything is, before doing a double take to be sure their terminal is actually blinking *payment accepted*.
These too good to be true moments are what Apple do best. When Tim Cook announced Apple Pay last month he carefully described payments as a new category of business for Apple, alongside their upcoming watch. Apple are taking this seriously and they have a great story to tell.
In Australia we have some of the highest adoption rates in the world with 70% of adults having tap-and-go cards and over half our payments under $100 being done with the tap-and-go process. Visa estimate that our 25% of our merchants have tap-and-go access, which could be up to 4x the per capita rate of the United Kingdom and 10x the rate of the United States.
But why carry cards at all? Google Australia say they aren’t going to release Google Wallet here and the Commonwealth Bank sell $3 tap and go stickers that you can stick on your phone, so this leaves Apple with a massive position to give Australia a truly native mobile option that lets us leave the stack of cards at home.
Today you can only use Apple Pay with the latest iPhone 6 and a card from one of the 11 US banks they have partnered with at launch, but when this comes to Australia it’s going to be big.