I am certainly an interested Apple consumer, maybe a fanboy is a better description. As I await the all-but-certain two iPhone 6 models announced tomorrow and an iWatch (if we believe the 3.4 million rumors) I am just as excited about their payment system.
Purportedly integrated into the phone through NFC (near field communication), Apple is said to be enabling the ability to “touch” your phone (or presumably your watch) to a payment pad in order to complete a transaction with all of your payment info stored within a “signature” that your device can obtain (this is how the fingerprints are stored for TouchID). But that’s not particularly novel or interesting, many phones already have this, in fact, you can even just buy an NFC sticker and put it on the back of your phone right now if you want to pay this way.
Did this just become a technology blog? Of course not!
What is unique is that Apple wants to own your wallet and your transactions and plans to reward your for using them (purportedly). Google Wallet already has a unique payment card that links to any card in your wallet, but doesn’t allow you to switch which card you are paying with, without opening the app. Paypal also issues a card if you like, that will first pull funds from your PayPal balance and then whichever card/account you assign next.
Coin (for which I am a disappointed early adopter still awaiting their response to a simple question posed over a week ago) is a unique card that may or may not see the light of day. On this $50-100 ridiculously good-looking card you can sync up to 8 cards and switch your payment card right on the device. This would be excellent for business people with a personal mileage credit card, business credit cards, debit cards, and even loyalty cards.
This looks great but rollout has been dismal…
OK, I get it. Apple will have yet another “Digital Wallet” option, why is this about miles and points?
Those who speculate, and there are many, say that Apple is standing out from the crowd by integrating a reward system for using their payments. If it works the way that others do in this space, that would mean paying for dinner would earn Apple payment points (*APPs?) then credit card miles or points, and when you pay off your credit card you would earn your debit card miles or points, and finally, if that restaurant is in the dining program (odds are it is not), even more miles and points on top of that.
And if there is a status to obtain – and I truly hope there is – you better believe I will be first in line to try and hit top tier!
Who’s with me?