One of the biggest headlines in tech this week – if not the biggest – was around Apple’s announcements of the iPhone 6, the phablet-sized iPhone 6 Plus, the Apple Watch, and Apple Pay, the company’s take on mobile payments.
While all of these are going to present a lot of opportunities for marketers, one of the most intriguing will probably be Apple Pay, a system that uses near field communication (NFC) in the new iPhones to let users pay for purchases by tapping their devices to a point-of-sales terminal.
According to a story published in Ad Age this week, Apple has already overcome a lot of the barriers to mobile payments we’ve seen in the past. While it definitely isn’t the first company to move into this space, it’s the first to get the cooperation of major retailers. So far, the company has already on-boarded more than 220,000 retailers into its program, including Macy’s, Walgreens, McDonalds, and so on.
For one thing, with mobile payments, users may be more likely to make in-app purchases. With bigger devices and Apple Pay’s ability to make purchasing easier, they may be more encouraged to continue to buy things from their phones – rather than just using their phones to look up information about what they want to purchase.
Beyond in-app purchasing, users who bring their phones to stores, instead of their wallets, are easier to reach using mobile messaging. Marketers who create targeted ads for either the iBeacon or NFC technology can access these users with timely messages as they enter stores or pass certain points in them.
And then of course, part of the Apple Pay announcement included the news it would be included Apple’s Passbook. While Passbook has been around for a while, storing digital versions of plane tickets, movie tickets, coupons, and gift cards, if Pay and Passbook are integrated, that will give marketers more opportunities to bundle special offers and other loyalty programs together – and to have users try them out.