Tomorrow’s the big day for Apple-lovers everywhere: the unveiling of the iPhone 6 (or so we hope)! There’s some speculation floating around—from leaked photos and factory orders to mock-up drafts and insider hints—but the long and short of it is that all will be revealed in less than 24 hours.
One of the more interesting speculations we’ve caught wind of floating around the ether is all this chatter about an Apple-brand mobile payment system. Plenty of folks have dubbed this the ‘iWallet,’ but no matter what it’s called, many seem quite certain that this is one of the tricks the Apple execs have up their sleeves this time.
Mobile Payment System
Paying for things on our smartphones isn’t exactly revolutionary—many of us use our iPhone apps to pay for our morning coffees at Starbucks, and tons of regular Apple customers have gone to the Apple store, selected an item, paid for it and left, all without ever having to speak with another human by using their EasyPay app. But if Apple’s going to take mobile payments to a whole new level, there are some serious hurdles they’ll have to clear.
Why it Needs to be Different
For starters, some will argue that pulling your phone from your pocket is no easier than pulling your wallet from your pocket, so there’s no real incentive to make the switch. As a lady who loves leggings and is terribly forgetful when it comes to carrying a purse, I can say that it’s more than enough of a reason for me. Do you know how frustrating it is when you go to a coffee shop to do work, find a table, set up your computer and all your other gadgets you’ve brought with you, get to the register to place your order, and then realize you’ve left your wallet in the car? Because this isn’t Starbucks, and your phone just won’t cut it. So now you have to go back out to your car and hope that someone doesn’t steal your laptop in the 2 minutes it takes you to run to the parking lot and back. But plenty of people tell me that things could be worse than having to carry around a wallet, so I suppose for them they need a bit more of a nudge to get on board with mobile payments.
If we’re thinking that Apple is going to have to find a way to incentivize this new way of life, senior solutions consultant Mark Ranta from ACI Worldwide made a point that is painfully true-to-life, “One of the things that personally frustrates me is that today rewards and payments are treated as two very separate things. I have to go into a dark corner of an app to get a reward. That makes no sense. You need to put the rewards up front and associate it with the purchase.” I can’t understand why that isn’t already a thing with so many stores trying to integrate app technology into the in-store buying experience. Ranta brought up a store that’s doing mobile app integration right when he discussed Walmart’s Savings Catcher with John Cox at NetworkWorld. If you’ve already bought something at Walmart, and find out that a competitor is selling it for less, you can scan the barcode through the app, it’ll compare the price you paid to the advertised prices (both online and in print) with other retailers, and if it finds the item at a lower price, it’ll make up the difference in the form of an eGift Card! “That’s genius,” said Ranta.
What features in a mobile payment system would seal the deal for you and make you want to give it a try? Let us know on Facebook!