Apple Pay Officially Takes Off…But Won’t Take You to the Starbucks Line

ApplyPay-iPhone-iPad-POSAs of this morning, those millions of owners of the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus will be able to use Apple Pay when they go shopping. The customers will add a card from a participating bank or card company (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) to their Passbook app and set up Apple Pay, and once making a payment at a compatible register, they simply use a fingerprint sensor to complete their transaction.
Some top retailers accepting Apple Pay are McDonald’s, Walgreens, Macy’s, Chevron, Bloomingdale’s, and DuaneReade. On the other hand, major leading chains like Wal-Mart and Starbucks have rejected utilizing the Apple Pay system altogether.
In a recent article, we discussed the logistics of Apple Pay. A large reason for decisions against Apple Pay has to do with Near Field Communication (NFC) chips, or lack thereof. Without the NFC chip, a checkout terminal is not capable of using Apple Pay technology. This same idea excludes older iPhone users as well, as only the new iPhone 6 and 6 plus have the NFC chip required.
Starbucks was one of the first retailers to make mobile payments a reality by using their Starbucks App. About 15% of current purchases made at the coffee chain are through their customers’ mobile apps, which also ensure benefits for the patrons. Starbucks wants to guarantee that these advantages customers receive for having a Starbucks card through their Smartphone do not go away.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, another possible issue with Apple Pay lies in its anonymity feature. The system is not intended to collect any information about what customers buy, and its infrastructure makes certain that no one else can gather these details either. This raises problems for companies like Panera Bread, who want Apply Pay to allow customers to connect their rewards program, and thus, not have to carry a rewards card or enter a phone number. While Panera is trying to research technologies to speed up the loyalty program, they are hoping Apple will be able to figure it out first.
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