Apple Pay has already achieved the cool factor with its innovative payment system and convenience factor.
Any bank or credit union can join Apple Pay. The bigger banks already have. Community banks and credit unions may also take part and are being encouraged to work with their card processors to enroll, but it still may take time get set up with the Apple Pay solution. From our research, some card processors are further along than others; however, all are ready to help financial institutions start the process.
But does Apple Pay constitute an e-wallet strategy? Not completely. Its important for financial institutions to enroll in a variety of e-wallet solutions, including Apple Pay. MCX is another example of an e-wallet, allbeit one that has yet to hit the market. Other industry solutions, such as CU Wallet, will be important as well. CU Wallet was built specifically to provide credit unions with an opportunity to get into the e-wallet offering space.
Most importantly, banks and credit unions must have their own wallet offering, preferably as part of their mobile banking apps. So a financial institution can do several things to put an e-wallet strategy in place, however, only joining Apple Pay will not be enough.
Will consumers adopt Apple Pay? From what we know thus far, the answer is yes. Apple Pay is much easier to use than earlier e-wallets. We also know that Apple Pay users are slow to adopt, but it is still early.
Current statistics show that people have yet to train themselves to use it regularly. At a very practical level, even though the iPhone 6/6+ is a hot seller, most people do not yet have the device, and most merchants currently dont accept Apple Pay. Adoption of Apple Pay will come, but is obviously limited to the most recent iPhones and a small and slowly growing set of merchants.
Apple Pay is a good thing for the mobile payments industry. It sets a new standard and gives us a glimpse into the future.
To stay innovative and competitive, financial institutions should join, while also developing and deploying an e-wallet strategy that encompasses more than one wallet provider, including building their own.
Robb Gaynor is chief product officer of Malauzai Software, Inc.