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Mobile payment: should the use of Apple Pay be generalised to all e-commerce sites?

The Apple Pay eWallet

Apple Pay offers e-commerce customers the opportunity to avoid time-consuming payment procedures. This e-wallet seems to guarantee an acceleration of online conversions on paper, especially since it is now used not only on the iPhone, but also on the Mac. In a context where Apple is seeing a slowdown in sales of its smartphones, investing in e-commerce could become a new business strategy. 

Should we conclude that Apple Pay embodies the future of global e-commerce? Can it be implemented as easily in France as in other countries? Does this payment method promise optimised conversion rates for all types of e-commerce? Opinions on these issues are less clear-cut than expected. Here is a review of the arguments for and against the use of Apple Pay in an e-commerce context. 

Securing payments on e-commerce sites: an argument that is not very valid in France?

When the Cupertino brand presented Apple Pay in 2014, the security argument was particularly convincing. Apple Pay is based on three functionalities that are supposed to improve payment security. The NFC chip on the iPhone allows contactless payment. The "Passbook", or electronic wallet, registers the customer's bank cards. Finally, the Touch ID on the iPhone is based on the customer's fingerprint to secure the entire system.

Although this payment process was designed to guarantee the security of transactions, it seems that it is more in line with an American problem. Fraudulent use of bank cards is much more worrying in the United States than in France. French banks have made great strides in securing magnetic cards.

In fact, there are a number of arguments that cast doubt on the implementation of Apple Pay with French e-commerce brands. For example, the iPhone is less popular in France than in the United States, as the French prefer to buy Samsung smartphones. Another national specificity: an online payment of more than 20 euros generally always requires a code to be entered. The mechanism therefore loses its ease of use.

See also: techniques for attracting new customers to your website.

Should we give up relying on Apple Pay to develop e-commerce?

In 2019, Apple announces that its online payment solution covers more than a billion transactions per monthThis means that Apple Pay is registering more new users than PayPal. However, several observers point out that these transactions are not carried out directly online, but rather seem to involve countries such as Japan, Russia and China, where public transport in these countries requires the use of electronic wallets.

In a study by Loup Ventures LLC published in 2019, experts estimate that of all iPhone users worldwide who have installed Apple Pay, only 27 % have tried it. This survey also estimates that 8 % of iphonauts use the payment tool on a weekly basis. To top it all off, e-commerce sites that have chosen to adopt it do not always stick to it. The 2018 Kount study estimates that Apple Pay suffered a Stronger disavowal by e-merchants than Google Pay

However, iPhone users have a clear tendency to prefer Touch ID to Face ID, even though the brand is developing more and more models that use this feature. While the iPhone is the most widely used device on the market, it is not the only one. Face ID adds inconvenience to paymentHowever, this service is more of a constraint in public places. In private situations, the customer of an e-commerce site is less reluctant to use his appearance to pay. 

Apple Pay, an e-commerce payment tool adapted to a young target and iOS applications

Nevertheless, Apple Pay still has real prospects for success, including among a young population, born with a telephone in their hand...This technophile target carries out most of its purchases online. It appreciates being able to escape the painful experience of entering its bank card details in a form, especially since it uses the smartphone mainly when travelling, a context that does not facilitate the handling of banking data. 

This Z generation is also used to spending money online, if only by buying smartphone applications or music in streamingThis target has a genuine propensity to buy on impulseSo targeted Z-generation e-commerce retailers should use Apple Pay, which facilitates spontaneous purchases. 

Apple's eWallet can also be strategic for e-merchants who take advantage of high mobile trafficIn this case, Apple Pay encourages potential conversions. E-commerce businesses whose business model is based on an iOS application are also well advised to use the Apple tool. Or, to summarize the e-commerce situations in which Apple Pay remains a recommended payment method: 

  • targeted e-commerce generation Z ; 
  • websites that benefit from strong mobile traffic; 
  • business model based on an iOS application.

See also: how to boost your online sales with brand content 

à propos de l'auteur.e : Swann Le Moigne

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