Apple’s bid for ubiquity in the US retail industry is in sight

Seeking growth in a likely stable market, Apple has enhanced its payment service products with the live launch of Tap To Pay and the introduction of a new virtual “Apple Account Card” in its Wallet app. .

Tap to Pay is coming to Apple Retail in the US

Apple’s recently announced Tap to Pay feature allows merchants to use their iPhone to accept payments for a product or service using Apple Pay, with credit cards or digital wallets. No dongle is required, as the feature uses the device’s built-in NFC chip and third-party merchant services such as Stripe.

The service is not quite online yet but is being created available in Apple Retail. Its introduction marks a big step forward and will no doubt be a big boost for small and medium-sized retailers across the United States, who can now expect to use payment services alongside third-party enablers such as Stripe. with their Apple devices.

In conjunction with Apple’s Business Essentials service, the company now has an exciting offering for SMBs: rugged devices they love, easy-to-deploy payment services, and device management/onboarding services (and management). assistance) to maintain the devices used in the stores.

A cynic might argue that these two services will bring far more business benefits than any Facebook ad, but a critic might not.

What about the Apple account card?

The jury remains on the Apple account card. Available now in Wallet in the US, the virtual card shows any credit balance you may have associated with your Apple ID.

If you received an App Store or Apple Store Gift Card, the balance that would have been added to your Apple ID will now appear in Wallet on your Apple Account card. You can then use that balance to make purchases at Apple. As long as you’re in the US and using iOS 15.5 or higher, you should be able to “Add Apple Account” in Wallet.

Making sure all your finances are available in Wallet means this new way of accessing Apple ID funds makes sense. What is not (yet) known is the extent to which Apple may consider tying the feature to Apple Pay Cash, Apple Card and any anticipated market moves “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL ).

Persistent speculation this year has claimed that Apple intends to venture into BNPL services. Such plans, however, may have been shelved in response to the current global economic uncertainty, which is prompting smaller players to restructure their businesses.

Their restructuring, however, could mean an opportunity for well-heeled Apple to enter, with its brand helping to overcome consumer resistance to these services.

Working with BNPL, Apple Account Card, Apple Card and Tap to Pay, the company would then offer an end-to-end set of complementary solutions that would place Apple at the heart of the customer journey in US retail. That potential certainly exists, and Apple Business Manager (along with the ever-evident increase in sales of Apple products across all areas of the business) would once again provide an attractive base for small retailers looking for simple tools. to manage this growing ecosystem Apple.

Apple America

The only glaring omission from the plans so far seems to be the US-centric approach that Apple has taken in nearly all of these services. Account Card, Apple Card and Apple Pay Cash are not yet available in Europe or elsewhere, for example. Although impressive, Apple Business Manager does not yet recruit non-US companies. And while we’ve heard speculation that the company might offer more of its payment services in Europe, those rumors have yet to turn into reality.

What has become reality is that Apple has successfully convinced US consumers (and retailers) to embrace mobile payment services. The company faced some resistance when it launched Apple Pay, but it now accounts for 92% of the two billion US mobile wallet transactions made in 2020. There are also more than six million users Apple Card in the United States.

The inevitable ubiquity

Earlier this week, we looked at the road ahead for Apple, quoting Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who said:

“Things happen quite slowly, you know. They do. These waves of technology, you can see them long before they arrive, and you just have to choose wisely which ones to ride.

Given all of the above, in the case of payment services, at least, Apple is making a strong bid to become a ubiquitous retail presence in the US – and other markets may well follow. as the company expands its service business.

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