Apple Pay Works for Most, Has Hangups for Some


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Apple Pay, the new payment system that’s supposed to be the most revolutionary financial advance since online shopping, is finally in play. While the technology will probably take some time to perfect, customers, businesses, and pundits plunged in and so far have offered mixed reactions.

After just a few weeks on the market, Apple Pay has caused quite a stir. Some customers and businesses have had good experiences, while others have been more critical of the new payment system.

Despite mixed reviews, one thing is certain: Apple has made a big statement with its new technology. Take a look at the good, the bad, and the rather ugly after the first few weeks.

The Good

For Apple, there’s been plenty to rejoice over. According to CEO Tim Cook, the new system boasted more than one million activations within the first three days. Though not all those million activations resulted in payments or financial activity, they at least indicated that people are receptive to the idea and curious about how it works.

“We’re already No. 1. We’re more than the total of the other guys,” said Cook at a recent news conference.

Some of the most notable partners for Apple Pay include Macy’s, Walgreens, McDonald’s, and a number of major banks. There are also reports that Cook will reach out to Jack Ma of Alibaba about the potential for a partnership.

The success of these collaborations will largely determine the long-term success of Apple Pay.

The Bad

While quite a few people reported successful Apple Pay transactions in the opening days, not everything went smoothly. Some of the credit card companies that were supposed to be on board with Apple failed to sync up.

They blamed the glitch on unexpected demand. Most of the issues were eventually resolved, but it wasn’t Apple’s proudest moment.

Other problems reportedly occurred at CVS, Staples, and Subway. Even worse than not working was the fact that some customers took to Twitter and claimed that Apple Pay double-charged them for items they purchased.

The Ugly

The worst news Apple has received since the release of Apple Pay is that large drug retailers CVS and Rite Aid have led the charge of companies who deactivated contactless payment systems, and thereby prevented Apple Pay from working in their stores.

Since these two corporations are members of the Merchant Customer Exchange group (which is not-so-secretly developing their own contactless payment system), it appears they are deliberately making things hard for a potential competitor.

The question is how this bodes for the future. Will the Merchant Customer Exchange group’s upcoming CurrentC technology be something Apple needs to worry about?

Only time will tell … but it’s certainly not good news when Apple loses major potential partners.

Mobile affinity on the rise

Regardless of how Apple Pay fares in the long run, its semi-successful launch proves that mobile devices and technology will continue to play a central role in business. Match up the desire to have everything in the palm of your hand with the technology to make it happen, and business and marketing will continue to experience dramatic changes in the coming years.

One area of business that mobile technology has recently revolutionized is web design. No longer can websites be laid out strictly for desktop browsers.

Instead, they require responsive design that smoothly adjusts depending on which device one uses to view them. According to Magicdust, a leader in mobile web design, “If your website does not display properly for smartphone, tablet, or laptop screen sizes, you are not meeting your customers’ needs and are missing out on a significant opportunity for your business.”

Time will tell where mobile technology may take us, but it looks like Apple will remain among the leaders of the pack for the foreseeable future.

Larry Alton
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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