Some of you may looked confused. Some of you may say, “I know what an Apple Pay is, but what’s a Google Wallet?” The Apple tech geeks will recognize Google Wallet and dismiss it.
But let’s start from the top, shall we?
Google Wallet is a service offered by Google since 2011 that allows users to use their Google device (like an Android phone) to make purchases digitally at hundreds of thousands of stores across the country (with the Google Wallet card) and allows you to store a myriad of gift cards from tons of locations.
Apple Pay and the Apple factor
If there is one thing Apple is really good at, it is taking solid ideas invented years ago and making them relevant and marketable.
I am not saying this as a jealous or otherwise peeved Android user. In fact, I just got done cooking dinner with my iPad using ingredients I bought with a list on my iPhone and am now writing this article on my MacBook Pro Retina.
The difference here is that Passbook was the me-too to the Google Wallet, and Apple Pay elevates the POS system with card-free transactions.
How does Apple Pay work?
Apple Pay is a different beast than Google Pay in that it allows the user to actually purchase a device by using their phone. No credit/debit cards required.
Digital terminals at participating retailers with the logo allow you to use your phone to purchase goods without using a card. Simply be near a terminal with your phone, and Apple Pay works.
You manage your debit and credit cards in the Passbook app that arrived a decent while back for flight tickets and other gift card opportunities.
Initial response of Apple Pay
So what is the public consensus on Apple Pay? Let’s take to Twitter:
Oh, FFS. If the card issuer isn’t set up for Apple Pay, your iTunes account be used. So much for that. It’ll be 2016 before @Simple gets it.
— Reverend J.A. Bell (@sixcupsofcoffee) October 20, 2014
I just used #ApplePay to buy ice cream. Wow… It's the future.
— Joe Gatto (@Joe_Gatto) October 21, 2014
— CNNMoney (@CNNMoney) October 22, 2014
As is the case with every major release, there are faults and wins. There are lovers, and there are haters.
Major credit card companies like Discover are currently not supported by Apple Pay, and even tech-happy companies like Simple are not yet part of the Apple Pay lineup.
Personally, I will tell you that all of my credit and debit card banks are not supported at time of writing this article. Apple is striving to get more partnerships with other companies, but without consistent pushing over the next couple of years, Apple Pay will not be enough of a force to mean much to shareholders.
The launch also isn’t without faults, like anything else, but largely the transition to this new type of NFC pay has been good.
Takeaway from Apple Pay
If there is anything to learn from the launch of Apple Pay, if you have a great and innovative idea, don’t ditch it.
With a lack of visionary new products over the past couple of years, Apple could finally break into the market with a software effort that makes it THE device to own. If you can’t win with innovative hardware ideas, it is time to move to software.
If Apple Pay continues to be accepted by more card companies (my credit and debit card companies are scheduled to join in the next six months, for example), we could see a shift. We also might see a “reinvention” on the part of Google Wallet. After all, the Android market does need to compete.