For Apple Pay, the future is apps

Apple CEO Tim Cook explains the benefits of Apple Pay in apps.
Apple CEO Tim Cook explains the benefits of Apple Pay in apps.
Image: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
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This post has been corrected. 

While most attention has been paid to which retail stores have started accepting Apple Pay, the iPhone-based payment service has quietly made serious progress in mobile commerce. And there are plenty of reasons to believe it could thrive in that space.

Apple told Quartz that Apple Pay is now supported by “thousands” of apps. Among the purported benefits: faster checkouts for customers and a greater likelihood that they’ll complete a transaction after putting something in their online shopping cart.

“[Adding Apple Pay] was one of the things we’ve been dying to do and we’ve been thinking about it since we launched our app in July [2015]. Anecdotally, our customers have definitely been asking for it,” Ilia Papas, co-founder and CTO of on-demand meal kit app Blue Apron, which announced today that it’s adding the payment option.

According to a recent investor note from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, there has been “an acceleration in the number of apps that accept Apple Pay,” calling it an “inflection point.”

That mobile apps are adopting the service at a fast rate makes sense: Getting Apple Pay into a store requires pricey new terminals, but app developers only need to insert some code.

The ease of use in an app—consumers only have to scan their fingerprint into their phone—could spur more frequent buying and larger purchases, says Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies, a technology research firm.

For example, Domino Go, an interior design app, is running exclusive deals for purchases made with Apple Pay, and says it’s seen a 436% boost in average daily revenue after adding the option.

Staples told Quartz that checkout times are 35 seconds less than traditional methods like credit and debit cards, and Instacart, an on-demand grocery app, said customers checkout 58% faster with Apple Pay than other payment methods, saving them about a minute on average.

Apple Pay is also helping with cart abandonment—when consumers get frustrated plugging in their payment and shipping information, and just give up. JackThreads, a popular men’s fashion site, says customers who use Apple Pay are 92% more likely to finish a transaction than those who don’t. 

Correction (Feb. 9): An earlier version of this post misspelled the name of Ilia Papas.