Top Retailers Still Resisting Mobile Payments

Apple / Business / Google / iOS / Mobile

Yesterday, Reuters posted an interesting article detailing some of the progress, or lack thereof in some cases, Apple Pay has made with retailers. The article is well worth a read, even if you don’t use Apple or iOS. If you’re an Android user wanting more opportunities to use Google Wallet (or Android Pay later this year), this is something you should care about.

Some of the highlights of the article detail that there is a resistance by brick-and-mortar retailers to accept the idea of mobile payments for a few reasons. Reuters surveyed 98 of the top 100 US retailers (two of the top 100 are online-only), as listed by the National Retail Federation. 85 gave Reuters detailed responses, 11 only commented on whether or not they use Apple Pay, and 2 did not respond.

While the responses from those currently accepting it were positive, less than a quarter of the respondents said they accept Apple Pay, and nearly two-thirds said they have no plans to accept it this year. Out of those responding, only four retailers indicated that they would begin accepting Apple Pay this year.

Why not accept Apple Pay?

The top reasons retailers cited for not accepting Apple Pay were insufficient customer demand, a lack of access to data generated in Apple Pay transactions and the cost of technology to facilitate the payments. Some merchants said they were holding out because they plan to participate in a new mobile payment system to be launched by a coalition of retailers later this year.

From a retailer’s perspective, much of that is understandable. Retailers want info that they can use to target marketing to the right consumers. The bean counters are always watching the bottom line, and I’m sure there is resistance to spending money on terminal upgrades.

I don’t want to copy the articles points, so definitely go take a read. It does a nice job of presenting both sides, both the retailer and the consumer POV. There is a good point made about customer rewards. I use Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts proprietary apps, because a) I like mobile payments, and b) I get rewards points. In both of those cases a physical card works as well, but for me the convenience of not having to have 2 more cards in my wallet is nice. If either of those two retailers offered Google Wallet as a pay option, I probably wouldn’t use it there due to not earning the rewards points.

I will say that the few times I’ve been able to use Google Wallet at the register it has been quick and painless. Unfortunately it’s not available in many locations. I use Walgreens as my pharmacy, so paying with my phone there works well. I’ve used my phone to pay at a couple of hospital vending machines as well.

In closing, I’d like to expand upon one of my opening statements: even if you don’t use iOS, even if you don’t even like Apple, you should want to see Apple Pay continue to grow. Continued growth in the adoption of Apple Pay will result in the same growth for Android Pay, and the available choice will only benefit the consumer.

How about you? Have you used Google Wallet or Apple Pay to pay at a point of sale? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments!

  Source: Reuters
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