When Apple Pay was released, it came with the fanfare that mobile payments had finally gone mainstream. However, a year and a half later, it's impossible to get a reliable experience using Apple Pay. As the most conspicuous of the mobile payment options, one could consider Apple Pay a bellwether for the incipient adoption of mobile payments in retail. As an experiment, we tracked our payment options over a few days with the iPhone:
- A chain retail store: No mobile pay (previously had offered LevelUp, a mobile payments app)
- A local restaurant: No mobile pay.
- A museum store: No mobile pay.
- A small chain grocery store: No mobile pay.
- A large chain drugstore: No mobile pay.
- A small chain coffee shop: No mobile pay (previously had offered LevelUp)
- A chain sandwich shop: No mobile pay.
- A chain casual restaurant: Mobile pay via LevelUp only.
That it is so hard to find a store that accepts Apple Pay is not a good trend. We have continued to ask about Apple Pay as a payment option in various stores and found a few places here and there where we can use it. But with a lack of options, iPhone users are being trained not to use their phone for payments each time they meet failure at the register. There’s only so much rejection a person can take.
However, Samsung Pay users should have better luck at a wider range of stores because it leverages the same technology used for old-fashioned credit card swipes.
Getting people to change their payment habits is a huge obstacle. Each time iPhone users are not able to use Apple Pay is a reason for them to not continue trying, which is why Samsung’s acquired patent from LoopPay is so valuable.
It is in Apple AND Samsung’s best interest to make mobile payments work universally for everyone. Mobile payment success should NOT be based on which phone you have or what kind of card reader the store has. The video above at Katz’s Deli underscores the bigger problem that no one even expects mobile payments to work yet, and that is bad for everyone who is in the mobile payments game. What is the solution? Samsung's technology should be licensed by Apple and all manufacturers, so that the public's perception on mobile payments can be changed into "something that just works". With a unified message between manufacturers, a consistent message of "it just works" can chisel away at the momentum and traditional payment habits of the public. Each phone manufacturer wins because they now have a piece of a much bigger, viable pie.
Samsung has its finger on something special here with this technology. Hopefully they could use that technology to magically transform mobile payments into viability for the entire industry.
Mobile Payments Have a Trust Issue