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Apple Pay UK launch – Comment from Skrill PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Commenting on the launch of Apple Pay in the UK today, Sean O’Connell, Chief Marketing & Product Officer at leading digital payments company Skrill Group, argues that Apple Pay is set to be more successful in the UK than in the US, but the overall value proposition for merchants remains to be seen.

He said: “UK consumers are primed for contactless payment solutions. More than 58 million contactless cards are now in circulation, and contactless payments were up 255% in 2014.
 
“Although initially wary of investing in contactless, retailers now see it as a very real part of their payments mix and consumer expectations have increased exponentially. Behaviour change, such as that driven by Transport for London, is evident when you watch the millions of commuters swipe in and out of buses, tubes and trains every morning.
 
“As a result, I’m much more bullish on success for Apple Pay in the UK – or at least London – than in the US where acceptance has lagged significantly. Here, Apple can benefit from a contactless card "training wheels" period.
 
“The existing familiarity with contactless and the £20 (raising to £30 in September) transaction limits will support consumer adoption of Apple Pay in the UK.
 
“The overall value proposition for merchants remains to be seen. By its very nature, Apple’s solution has hardware and operating system restrictions meaning the number of compatible devices in market is relatively small. The challenge for Apple will be the drive for adoption. As a retailer am I going to promote the Apple Pay acceptance mark (as advised) when my addressable audience today is probably 10%-15%?
 
“For a number of years, people have pointed to the potential of Passbook to drive behaviour change by adding value through merchant promotions, but little of this - outside of airlines - has been realised. At Skrill, we find joint marketing initiatives with our merchants are incredibly effective. Letting our existing 20m wallet holder know they can use Skrill at a new, relevant retailer certainly helps to drive footfall.
 
“Today marks the day when NFC mobile payments (finally!) become ‘real’ in the UK, but it will be a three year journey for Apple before it can fully tap into its 42.5% share of the UK mobile market – and they aren’t without competition from forthcoming Android alternatives.”

(Source - Skrill Comment)
 

 
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