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Expedia, adopt Apple Pay while bricks-and-mortar mobile payments languish

Expedia and are the latest to adopt Apple Pay into their commerce applications, reflecting retailers’ enthusiasm for online payments even as many steer clear of in-store mobile opportunities.

Bricks-and-mortar retailers are proving slow to transition to EMV, a factor needed for in-store mobile payments, likely due to the lack of consumer interest as only 48 percent of customers have used the new cards to make a payment. But retailers are not shying away from online and mobile payments services in the digital commerce space, exemplified recently by Expedia and adopting Apple Pay.

“Reducing friction in the checkout flow for online sales is a high priority for retailers,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston. “Apple has hundreds of millions of credit cards on file and consumers are used to transactions through their iTunes account.

“This makes Apple Pay a very attractive payment solution, as shipping and bill-to address information can be auto filled into a retail app checkout flow,” he said.

Online vs in-store and Expedia both recently updated their apps to allow users to checkout through Apple Pay. The integration speeds up and removes extra steps in the payment process, by allowing users to checkout via their thumbprint on iPhone devices enabled with the technology.

While more and more retailers are quickly adopting online payment services, in-store payments are seeing quite the opposite. With the EMV transition in such upheaval, bricks-and-mortar retailers have been slow in incorporating mobile payments into their in-store strategy.

The security of EMV technology helps prevent customers from future hacks on credit and payment, but many are reluctant to jump to the new method. Only 60 percent of customers are in possession of an EMV chip-equipped card, and only 48 percent have ever used it in-store, according to research from Ingenico Group.

More players are coming the mobile payments sector often, which means there will be a wider range of customers using various methods. Retailers should work to incorporate as many mobile payments as possible, to ensure acceptance of more customers.

Apple Pay integration
American Apparel recently made a play for millennials’ loyalty by integrating with a cloud-based infrastructure that enables the retailer to offer Apple Pay payment options as well as one-time signups for rewards programs (see more).

Flash sales retailer Rue La La is another digital retailer that attempted to capitalize on its 60 percent of traffic stemming from mobile devices by integrating Apple Pay into its app, offering time-strapped consumers additional payment options (see more).

“At Unbound Commerce, we have built Apple Pay into our solution and are making it available to over 200 retailers that have commerce enabled apps through our platform,” Mr. Kerr said. “Apple Pay and push-notifications are the top two reasons retailers give for wanting a retail app to be added to their omnichannel sales strategy.”