Mobile Convergence Accelerates as ‘Tap to Pay’ Hampers US Retail

It’s been 15 years since the iPhone gave rise to the modern smartphone, and mobile is now at the heart of almost everything we do. So it’s important that shoppers in the US soon find retailers willing to take contactless payments using the iPhone’s new Tap to Pay feature.

The shopping experience is a mobile experience

One of the largest U.S. payment service providers, Adyen, has officially started supporting Tap to Pay across its merchant networks and retailers.

Based (I think) on technology Apple bought with Mobeewave in 2020, Tap to Pay lets retailers accept payments with an iPhone XS or newer from iPhones, contactless cards, and digital wallets from any carrier that chooses to support the system. Realistically, this represents the latest evolution in the mobile retail customer journey transformation we’ve been through since Apple’s Steve Jobs took the stage in 2007 to show us a mobile phone that could also play music and had a real web browser.

Apple’s move into retail has never been particularly veiled. The company has its own global network of highly profitable stores and has used them to try out its ideas.

Mobile transformation of everyday life

Even before your iPhone became your wallet, consumers used the devices to check prices in a store (“Showrooming”), find discount codes, and interact with manufacturers. Apple just went along with these demands and introduced supporting tools such as Maps, Apple Business Chat, Apple Pay, ARKit and (in iOS 16) an extension of tools to create and use. indoor cards.

Company may have been mocked when the company’s head of retail Angela Ahrendts introduced a new approach to retail in which stores became “town squares” and Jony Ive designed attractive pots to contain forests of indoor trees in Apple stores.

That mockery masked Apple’s willingness to explore how mobile technologies could support next-generation personalized shopping experiences, increasing customer loyalty, connectivity and, of course, revenue. Retailers, experiencing the same changes in shopping habits, watched closely; when Apple’s solutions came up, they kept using them.

The future of retail?

In 2018, CFO Luca Maestri boasted that Apple was dealing with “the industry-wide adoption of iOS at thousands of retailers, from neighborhood boutiques to many of the world’s best-known retailers.”

He said nine of the top 10 global retailers were using iOS at the time, primarily to provide personalized customer experiences.

Tap to Pay brings even more aspects of the customer journey to the mobile fold. It is easy to use and implement and can even enable retailers to deliver another set of innovations, meeting the same mobility, personalization and autonomy demands that are now changing the way we work, as employees demand more .

“Together, we’ve already put iPhones into the hands of thousands of store associates. Now these devices can become payment terminals without additional hardware.” said Stephan Schambachfounder and CEO of NewStore, one of the networks that makes Adyen possible.

Adyen is not the only payment company using the service. Square, Stripe, Chase, Clover, GoDaddy, North American Bancard, and Worldpay are all planning to follow suit. Apple says.

Convergence seems easy, but it isn’t

“Today’s consumer is a savvy shopper armed with more product knowledge than ever before,” Rodney Bryant, IBM Global Business Services Retail Industry Lead for the Apple Partnership Team, told me in 2017. “The convergence of physical and digital in retail stimulates customer wishes [for] a convenient, personalized experience.”

Five years later, we have seen convergence in everyday life accelerating, with personalization and enhanced experiences becoming just as important in the workplace as it is in retail.

Meanwhile, Apple is trying to turn its hard-won customer loyalty into gold dust with a slew of online and offline services, and with its BNPL system gearing up to help cash-strapped consumers use iPhones to keep buying things — even if they probably shouldn’t.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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