Apple Pay is the world’s most popular mobile wallet, but most Apple users have never used it even once. With iOS 11, that will hopefully change, because Apple is bringing its mobile wallet into iMessage, where the service will seamlessly integrate with user experience to provide a convenient way to use your credit or debit cards.
Apple Pay works in a couple of ways. On devices with the NFC chip, you can use the ‘wave and pay’ method at supporting merchant outlets. In Safari, the web version allows you to make payments once you’ve saved your credit or debit card information, and then authorizing the payment using your Apple ID. On devices that support Touch ID, you can also authorize payments using that.
With iOS 11, there is now one more way to use the mobile wallet – to send ‘person to person’ payments to any of your iMessage contacts. Instantly and securely transfer money using your linked cards, and even receive money from other Apple Pay users via iMessage. Once received, the amount will sit in Apple Pay Cash until you withdraw it to your bank, use it on the new App Store, send money to someone or transact over the web.
Hopefully, this new method of transaction will allow more Apple device users to jump on the Apple Pay bandwagon. New user adoption isn’t growing that fast, with the existing user base actually going into a decline after a period of flatlining. This despite the fact that more than 35 percent of all merchants – 1 in 3 – in the United States accept Apple Pay as a method of payment.
That’s the sad but true story of Apple Pay nearly three years after its launch. Will bringing Apple Pay into iMessage do the trick? We hardly think so, but at least it will open up hundreds of millions of devices to a new way to transact over the web, within the App Store ecosystem and in physical retail locations.
This feature is only coming in the fall, when iOS 11 releases on the new flagship iPhone for 2017, so usage may actually decline further until it starts picking up again, if at all it does.
If you’re a regular user of Apple Pay, please comment on your experience with Apple’s mobile wallet, how often you use it, how convenient you find it and so on. Our readers will find it most useful.