What Apple Pay Means For Mobile App Developers

apple pay

Last week a huge Canadian Apple Pay expansion was announced. Until now only American Express holders could use the virtual wallet in Canada, but now Royal Bank and CIBC customers, as well as ATB and Canadian Tire card card holders can make credit and debit transactions using Apple Pay. TD, Bank of Nova Scotia, and Bank of Montreal customers will reportedly be able to use the service within weeks.

So how exactly does Apple Pay work, and what does it mean for the mobile app industry?

Apple Pay Basics

Apple Pay works pretty much exactly like your NFC chip card when you ‘tap’ to make a purchase, except the card is virtually represented by a token, and you tap your phone (or other Apple Pay enabled device) instead of the credit or debit card. You can use Apple Pay on most iPhone 6 devices, as well as some iPad’s and the Apple Watch. To activate it look in your settings under ‘wallet’ and add your credit card or banking information.

One of the major concerns people have raised with Apple Pay is the insecurity of funds, and Apple has taken many measures to ensure this is not an issue. For instance, you need to use your fingerprint to enable a purchase, which is actually a step above the current chip card security, which can be tapped without any approval process. Also, Apple Pay is limited to transactions of $100 or less, and your actual credit card number is never recorded. Rather, a virtual token is stored so if your device is lost or stolen you don’t have to cancel and replace your credit card, instead you deactivate it.

Benefit to Mobile App Developers

For app developers and those profiting from a mobile app, Apple Pay represents a huge opportunity for greater financial gain. The ease of use for in app purchases facilitates a quicker and easier purchase. There is no need to input card information, and the swiftness encourages impulse purchases. In fact some statistics from Apple Pay’s past year in the United States show purchase frequency is up a staggering 30% among Apple Pay users, simply because of the ease of use and the ability to spend more time shopping.

Apple Pay makes it simple for people to buy what they want, when they want it without every having to take out a card or punch in credit card information. More and more Canadians are ditching the physical wallet and amalgamating all those loyalty cards into virtual spaces and apps on their phone, so it’s a natural progression to move banking into the virtual realm as well. While some people remain concerned about what this means when you lose your phone, in reality it is a safer prospect than losing your wallet, because information is encrypted, requires your fingerprint to use, and can be remotely deactivated instead of having to replace everything.

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Integrating Apple Pay into your mobile app, or developing a new app with Apple Pay as the purchasing system not only gives current users the ability to make faster and easier purchases, but it opens up your app to a whole new audience, and bringing in new users means more sales. Research is showing the easier access people have to funds the more people will spend. Now is the time to take advantage of this amazing technology, and profit from it!