Often, new technologies can act as solutions in search of problems. And while Apple isn't over these kinds of moves, it often finds itself in front of the curve, pushing technologies with great potential before the whole world is ready for them.
Since its introduction, Apple Pay has a tendency towards the latter. It is a system that gives real concrete benefits over the status quo; The ability to pay with the iPhone or Apple Watch not only gives you more convenience than paying with a physical card, but also provides a lot of security for each transaction. It's become more and more popular, but there are still many places where you can't use it.
Of course, much of Apple's decision is not entirely under Apple's control. Some resellers still need to update the hardware or software on their terminals, and decision makers in some of these payment systems may also need to add Apple Pay compatibility. While the latest supply of big chains like Target and 7-1
Adoption is only part of the equation. Even without Apple Pay being ubiquitous, there's still room for Apple to improve its contactless payment system.
Apple Pay for strangers
Rollout of Apple Pay Cash in December 2017 was an important milestone for the payment system. For the first time, consumers allowed money to be exchanged with each other via Apple Pay, rather than just a point of sale. Around my group of friends, it has often proved to be a quick and easy way to pay someone back for a meal or movie ticket.
But for all this, it still has limitations. First, it's built into iMessage, and while it's good for friends and family, it's possible to send money to someone who isn't in your contacts, such as at a party, a conference, or a single just a large group dinner where you don't know everyone.
In these cases, I'd like to see a way to send money via direct transfer to a device via the NFC, perhaps using a similar system like AirDrop. After all, if you can drop a picture to someone you don't know, why not a payment too? You still need to authorize with your password, face ID or touch ID before payment, and with an iMessage account, a device associated with a particular Apple ID.
Allowing these transfers will also benefit from turning iOS devices into a rudimentary point on sales terminals, which can be appealing to small businesses or individuals selling products in places such as farmers markets or craft fairs. If you could just push the phone to a vendor's iPhone (or iPad more like that for a moment), it would go a long way to increasing the use of Apple Pay.
Apple Pay for iPad
Yes, iPad supports Apple Pay … kind of. While the tablet lets you use Apple Pay in online apps, as well as switching money through Apple Pay Cash, Apple has never added NFC chips to any of its iPad lines.
You get it: most people will not pull out their 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the supermarket's cash register. Then again, many didn't think anyone would ever use a 9.7 inch tablet as a camera, and we've probably seen it. Moreover, if the company is actually considering reviving the iPad mini, then there are almost certainly people who would like to use it as their payment options of choice. (Hey, not everyone who owns an iPad, owns an iPhone – why should they be left out in the cold?)
Finally, as mentioned above, having an iPad with an NFC chip in the Device that a sales terminal that will open up many opportunities for small businesses who do not want to invest in expensive, program-specific hardware.
Apple Pay for All else
As long as I dream, let's throw it out there: Apple platform across the platform. Look, I get that Apple sees its payment system as a competitive advantage, and that rivals like Google and Samsung have their own systems. But since most of these systems work with the same hardware on the payment side, wouldn't it be nice if they could interoperate more directly? Don't anyone think of the poor green bubbly people?
Personally, I hate to go to a third-party payment system in cases where I need to refund a friend who does not use an iOS device. And even though Apple sells millions of smartphones and tablets, there are millions more out there that don't work with Apple Pay. In addition, given that Apple has set a goal to increase service revenue, Apple Pay to many new devices may potentially help the bottom line.
Granted, I don't really expect that to happen. Although the company apparently has been more open to working with third parties, Apple Pay Cash is making current trust in iMessage it currently.
Well, until Apple decides to take the ] cross platform, anyway.