Apple Pay – Initial Thoughts

by    Nov 30th, 2015

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Apple has recently rolled out iOS version 8.1, bringing Apple Pay along with it. Apple Pay will be reserved for iOS8-based apps only and will require new SDK and GM seed of Xcode 6 to be successfully implemented. In other words, all the prerequisite conditions for the premier introduction of mobile payments to Apple’s ecosystem are quickly coming along. Apple Pay also brings a new avenue for developers to handle payments, and users will be calling for it since authorization and completion is as easy as a touch of your finger.

IAP vs Apple Pay

IAP and Apple Pay are separate services for separate purposes.

Use In-App Purchase to sell software and services that pertain to things in your app: e.g. to unlock features, to subscribe to content updates, or to let a player gain in-game currency.

Use Apple Pay to sell things that the IAP agreement says you can’t sell with IAP: real-world goods and services like shoes, meals, and taxi rides.

The Impact of Apple Pay

Apple pay can make payments on iOS devices quicker and easier. Specifically, users will no longer have to type in their credit card information or log into an ebay (or other payment processor) account each time they order something on their mobile device. Instead, they simply press the Apple Pay button and confirm their identity via Apple touch or a passcode.

Removing manually typing in credit card or login information is a big deal for those who want to sell products to customers on mobile devices. It doesn’t take a marketing specialist to tell you that removing barriers (such as the amount of clicks) and improving the checkout process is a very good thing.

How to Implement Apple Pay in Your App

Implementing Apple Pay is multi-step process. To start, Apple recommends selecting from a list of payment providers and using their SDKs. The list can be found here.

As the exact process of implementing Apple Pay differs based on the payment provider, we won’tattempt to cover the details. However, we can assure you that the process is not too painful (we particularly like Stripe’s documentation found here). Should you wish to implement Apple Pay, but still use your own server-side solution to receive payments from your app, you can follow the directions found here. Note that Apple does not recommend this option.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it’s all about the apps. The entire buzz about iOS8 is focused on its attempts to redefine the way developers approach app building, which was necessary due to extreme makeover of the mobile market since iOS first started. Introduction of a quick and easy m-payment system allows developers to think beyond the present monetization models and prepare for a future in which a majority of users will prefer m-wallets to any other channel for money transactions.

On the basic level, it will be easy to incorporate new payment method into the existing apps or new projects based in similar blueprints. The real challenge is to internalize this possibility and come up with innovating concepts that would be impossible without m-payment capacity. It will probably be a few years before this type of expertise starts emerging, but it is bound to happen sooner or later.