Apple Pay has reached new heights.
JetBlue recently announced that it will now accept payments via Apple Pay while cruising at 30,000 feet. Passengers can buy snacks, drinks, onboard amenities and better seats through Apple Pay – the latter being potentially enticing enough for me to try out the NFC payment system. More than 3,500 flight attendants will be given iPad minis and NFC enabled cases to process both Apple Pay and credit card info. JetBlue will accept Apple Pay in-flight on select flights from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco. It will roll out this capability on all flights starting in mid-June.
Though it seems Apple Pay is pulling ahead of its competitors, it’s not out of the woods just yet. CurrentC is accepted by major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy – places where Apple Pay has been greeted with red tape. Though some big box retailers are giving it the cold shoulder, Apple Pay does have one major advantage that the other NFC payment systems do not – notoriety. When consumers shop with Apple, they know all transactions are handled by the same trusted source that brought them the iPhone, iPad, and every other i-device produced in the last twenty years. Google Wallet works under various third parties, just as credit cards do, leaving consumers feeling less secure.
It’s not just Apple’s own celebrity the payment system is banking on – they’re enlisting the help of many widely known actors. Nearly vintage commercials of Jerry Seinfeld shopping with his American Express and Tina Fey buying this-or-that with the same card have resurfaced, with an homage to Apple Pay and Amex’s new partnership featured at the end. Even if Jerry and Tina don’t actually pump gas into their cars with Apple Pay, their faces are now synonymous with the payment system, and Apple builds its credibility.
If Apple Pay can establish itself as a household-name as easily mentioned across the dinner table as the beloved actors featured in its commercials, we may not be far off from some version of Tim Cook’s “Year of Apple Pay.” Despite this, Apple Pay should be wary of its competitor, Samsung. Samsung’s own payment system (named Samsung Pay) operates both as a near-field communication system as well as with traditional magnetic strip terminals. With magnetic secure technology built in to all Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones, buyers can use their smartphones for contactless payment by hovering their phone where they would normally swipe a credit card. Since it operates within the same secure-transmissions method of traditional payments, retailers don’t have to install anything to adapt. Its predicted that Samsung Pay will be used in over 90% of retail locations. Apple Pay may have Seinfeld, but so far, Samsung could have the upper hand.
Stay tuned for more on Samsung Pay. Which payment system would you rather use? Let us know what you think.