Apple Pay On Web: A Boon For Online Retailers?
Apple has announced that it is expanding its Apple Pay payment system from apps to websites. This is expected to be a big leap in mobile payment and subsequently for retailers, as a way to convert more shoppers browsing for stuff on their phones into actual buyers. At least that’s how Apple is currently positioning the new and extended Apple Pay.
At the same time Apple is looking to compete with Paypal and other similar mobile payment services.
At its annual developer conference WWDC, the tech titan stated that its mobile payment and digital wallet service can now be used to make purchases from select websites using the Safari browser, which at present commands 13 percent of the browser market in May, behind leader Chrome with 59 percent, according to a W3Counter report. This means Apple is already shutting out users of Google’s Chrome and possibly limiting Apple Pay’s adoption by users who are using other browswer.
Of course, for users having Safari browsers, it eliminates the need to download a store’s app, making the payment service more accessible.
A boon for online retailers?
In some ways yes, for those retailers who can access Apple Pay on the web. Earlier, the phone’s fingerprint sensor was used to make (secure) transaction for Apple Pay. With the new announcement, the fingerprint sensor will be integrated, but consumers shopping on a website on a Mac computer who want to use Apple Pay will get a notification on their iPhone to confirm the transaction. Pressing their finger to the phone’s fingerprint sensor will authenticate the transaction on the computer.
The expansion of Apple Pay to websites can be a big deal for retailers, as latest reports show retailers have 20 percent more visits to their mobile websites than their mobile apps. At the same time, the majority of retail traffic still happens on desktop websites.
In fact, a major roadblock for online retailers is that users often ignore a purchase on their phone when they have to type in all their payment and shipping details on a small screen. This is something Apple Pay can eliminate.
Taking on Paypal?
The service is likely geared to allow customers to bypass competitor Paypal as a service to handle customers’ cash. While, the mobile payment industry was struggling to gain traction, until last year, as a CreditCards.com survey from 2015 showed, 64% of respondents said they would “never” or “hardly ever” use a cell phone to make purchases. However, that number has increased since Apple Pay launched in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and Singapore. In the coming months, Apple Pay will debut in other countries as well.
Read more: Why India Is Not Ready For Apple Pay Yet
The expansion should eventually have some impact on PayPal, the alternative online payment method today in the US, believe experts. However, how big an impact is something that remains to be seen. It’s important to note that Apple Pay users have to own a Mac computer and an iPhone if they want to use the payment service on desktop websites. Also they have to use Apple’s Safari web browser.
In another development, Google too announced at its developer conference in May that it was working to bring its payment system, Android Pay, to websites as well. And hence, it will be interesting to watch out this space!
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