So last week Apple Pay launched in the UK on a wave of hype, the Usual Suspects were interviewed on now simple it was to use to buy coffee and travel on The Tube and now disruptive it was; using just an iPhone or your iWatch. To watch the reports the mobile phone was finally going to replace your wallet doing away with the need for plastic payment cards and finally mobile payments were going to take off after years of false dawns.
But hang on Apple Pay only works on Apple Hardware and quite a few people I see out in public don't have an iPhone preferring to have an Android device. Also there is an issue with just what banks payment services are available at this moment as not all card issuers are set up on Apple Pay. So far nobody I have seen has spoken about how Apple Pay will allow the user to ditch their wallet as with this version of the App it allows only one card to be associated with the service at any time. But hang on the thing it seeks to replace has more than one payment card and so rather than a replacement at present the service is an alternative as most wallets are see have six plus cards in.
The first week of use, judging by my twitter stream seems to be users explaining how those in retail did not know that you can pay by phone or the service failing to work as the EPOS didn't confirm payment and so they are having to revert to traditional contactless cards.
Rivals to Apple are now promoting that they have or will have there own App that allows the user to do just the same and so you can add that to Apple Pay on your phone or remove and replace it.
What we are not told is that the service is not a full replacement for Internet Banking, the lack of interface with Payment Service Providers means that it will not allow you to confirm account balances, review all transactions on your account or make direct payments. These services should be available and they potentially could be very secure however the Banks and Mobile Networks are at a standoff as to pricing such interactions. The Banks wish to pay the Mobile Networks 0.0001p per transaction, The Mobile Networks want 5p per transaction because the massive volumes make it necessary to invest in more infrastructure. Given that the Banks charge retailers over 50p per transaction it does seem that the Banks are attempting to rip of the Networks, but then I would say that because I work for MNOs rather than Banks.
Why should be accept such a limited service in a mobile payment app? I want something that allows me to replace cheque writing at the start of every school term with a simple system that allows me to send money by text. It's not difficult Africa and Asia have had such services for years now.
Does Apple have a roadmap that means they will upgrade the services as volumes increase and users demand more features or will Apple Pay be a service like visual voicemail a flash in the pan that is quietly killed off? Apps are not the disruptive innovation a journalist will have you believe they are compromises because infrastructure for different markets does not have the ability to talk to one another and the owners of the different systems demand so form of entry fee.