Apple could generate a billion dollars through its currently U.S.-only Apple Pay service across the next year, and is likely to generate millions of dollars on Black Friday sales alone.
That's the best case scenario, and of course Apple is unlikely to share its actual results. The estimates are based on the assumption it takes a small 0.10% fee on each transaction, as is widely believed.
Put that transaction fee up against these stats and you see the potential revenue the company may attract in the USA:
- U.S. consumers spent $735 billion using credit cards in 2005.
- U.S. consumers spent $57.4 billion on Black Friday sales last year.
The potential is limited by the fact that only a few million Americans have an Apple Pay compatible smartphone, although Apple has set the mobile payments industry alight, raising interest in other mobile payments providers. This translates into usage that is bound to put a few dollars under Cupertino's Christmas tree.
More from mobile
The mobile shopping experience extends beyond payments. Consumers use mobile for: Finding deals (97%); comparing prices (96%); researching products (96%); accessing coupons (92%); finding stores (89%); and buying directly from the device (85%), Retale this week claimed.
Android and Apple owners accounted for 89% of Retale's survey group, but Apple users are far more likely to shop using their devices, Retale said.
- Apple users (89%) are more likely to buy directly from their devices than Android users (85%)
- Apple users (86%) are more likely to spend the same amount or more on holiday spending this year than Android users (80%)
- Nearly 75% will use mobile devices at some point of the customer journey this season -- confirmation once again that customer experiences are becoming ever more digital
- 82% plan to spend the same amount or more on holiday spending as compared to last year, while just 18% plan on scaling back and spending less.
- Over half (54%) of shoppers will shop online and in store.
- Just 24% of consumers continue to shop exclusively on the high street and malls.
These statistics illustrate the impact of online and mobile on traditional shopping patterns. That you can use Apple Pay to shop in the virtual and real world means the company is likely to grab a few payment transaction fees from a hefty slice of nearly 75% of digitally-savvy US consumers this season.
This nexus of mobile technologies and consumerism should mean new business opportunities for switched-on developers. I imagine soon (if not already) you will be able to stand in a mall, take a photograph of any item, and be presented with price comparison data on the spot.
Apple Pay support in third-party apps should enable developers to put purchasing into the mix, and integration with online shopping services means you will get delivery, too.
In the future, consumers will always be able to access the cheapest available deal on any product and have purchases shipped to them just by pointing their smartphone and putting a thumb on the button. There are already services moving to deliver this kind of integration, and their arrival will do very little to support traditional brick-and-mortar retail.
Shops will become showrooms, at least when looking for mass market or commodity items.
Apple Pay is only one element to support a complex tapestry of useful and relevant services – but this season it seems likely to pour a few million dollars into the Apple cash machine.
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