A recent survey of America’s top 100 retailers conducted by Reuters and the National Retail Federation (the good ol’ NRF) found that a vast majority of companies do not accept Apple Pay, and have no plans to any time in the near future. Because Apple Pay is a stupid idea, this writer thinks that’s a win for everyone. (Except Apple, but they’ll be fine.)
SPOILER ALERT: Paraphrased Meat Loaf
Fewer than a quarter of the retailers surveyed said they currently accept Apple Pay; even fewer said they actually like using the service. Roughly 66 percent of the retailers said they would not and do not plan to start using Apple Pay anytime this year. Just four of the 100 polled said they plan to adopt the system within the year. But a little basic math can make that number sound a little better. So don’t be sad, Apple: one out of 25 ain’t bad.
The surveyed retailers gave several why they don’t or won’t use Apple Pay; of the four most common responses, one is a little on the shady side, two are essentially neutral, and one is positive. None of them are really a surprise.
The bad: With Apple Pay, retailers only receive limited access to customer data generated by the transaction. This is actually one thing I could get behind, because the less data corporations can collect the better; however, in this case it only means that Apple has all of that data instead.
The neutral: 1) The cost of integrating Apple Pay technology at point-of-sale is too high to justify. Retailers will undoubtedly pass those savings on to you! And, 2) the soon-to-be-launched CurrentC payment platform that most retailers have backed instead. I doubt they’ll have much more success with a different, equally pointless and redundant payment system, but hey, if it’s not Apple, I’m all for it.
The good: Insufficient customer demand—you took the words right out of my mouth! Much like Google Glass, it seems like the corporation behind the technology has vastly overestimated public enthusiasm for their product. What, exactly, is the benefit of using Apple Pay? “Oh you can pay with your phone.” How is that any better or easier than just paying with something out of your wallet? Either way, you’ve got to dig something out of your pockets or purse, and you’ve got to finagle some technology. And if you’ve got security concerns, Apple’s digital information is just as vulnerable as any other corporation’s.
It’s surely only a matter of time before mobile payments—stupid, redundant, and unnecessary though they be—become the norm at retail POS. But for now, thankfully, most in the retail sector are saying “Thanks, but no thanks, Apple.”
To which I add, “And take your stinking iPhones with ya!”