Following on the heels of last week’s video highlighting the power of Face ID as a way to unlock the iPhone X, today Apple released an ad promoting the technology’s use with its Apple Pay service. The new video follows in last week’s tongue-in-cheek footsteps.
Set to Back Pocket by Vulfpeck, the ad follows a young man as he walks through a crowded market. He sees a hat he likes, uses Face ID with Apple Pay to buy it, and the hat flies off the rack and onto his head. Next, he does the same thing with a pair of sunglasses he likes. From there, he uses Face ID and Apple Pay to try on a dizzying array of shirts, suits, and shoes. He even buys a chair as a gift that rockets away leaving a trail of flame. Like the video last week, the ad is fun and does a nice job of conveying how Apple Pay works and how easy it is to use, while also being entertaining.
Last weekend Apple issued an update to iOS 11 that fixed a bug that could cause an endless loop of crashes if certain notifications were received by a user. Version 11.2 of iOS also set the stage for the rollout of Apple Pay Cash, Apple’s peer-to-peer money transfer service that’s built into the Messages app.
Apple Pay Cash is currently a US-only service that lets users send each other cash via iMessages. An Apple Pay button will appear in the app and sticker tray of Messages on any Apple Pay-compatible iPhone or iPad. The service, which debuted at WWDC in June and was previously available only to beta testers of iOS 11.2, includes integration with Siri. Messages also automatically suggests using Apple Pay Cash if money is mentioned in a text message.
If the service is tied to a debit card, there is no fee to send money to someone. However, users who use a credit card will be charged a 3% fee. There is also a $3000 limit on individual transactions and a $10,000 limit on sending or receiving funds within a seven-day period.
Users of the latest iOS 11.2 beta release received a surprise today in their Messages app picker: the long-awaited Apple Pay iMessage app has now arrived.
At the Money 20/20 conference earlier this week, Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s VP of Apple Pay, revealed some new stats about the service and announced an expansion to four new major markets. Ingrid Lunden has the full story at TechCrunch, but this part about Apple Pay Cash (the peer-to-peer payment feature announced at WWDC that hasn't launched yet) stood out to me:
When Apple Pay Cash is turned on, for example, it will operate like Venmo, allowing users to transfer money quickly to each other via iMessage, Siri and other channels — a service that “thousands” of Apple employees are now already using in a closed beta before the service is turned on more widely later this year in an iOS 11 update.
But in addition to that, users will also be able to take that money and spend it directly at retailers and others that accept Apple Pay.
So you'll not only be able to send money to other people over iMessage, but Apple Pay Cash will effectively be its own card that can be used at any physical store or website that supports Apple Pay (like our own Club). I'm intrigued.
Apple Pay continued its global expansion today adding three Italian banks, Carrefour Banca, Unicredit, and Boon. Each financial institution’s credit and debit cards can be added to Apple Pay and used in a variety of retail shops and with online retailers. The addition of Italy to the list of countries with Apple Pay support had been widely anticipated since March when the payment service was first listed as ‘Coming Soon’ to Italy. In total, Apple Pay is now available in 16 countries worldwide.
Later this year, more financial institutions will be added to Apple Pay in Italy. According to Apple’s Italian Apple Pay website, American Express, CartaBCC, ExpendiaSmart, Fineco Bank, Hype, Mediolanum Bank, N26, and Widiba will be adding Apple Pay support. The site also lists some of the major retailers that have signed up to accept Apple Pay in Italy, including H&M, Eataly, Auchan, Carrefour, Simply Market, OVS, Limoni, Sephora, Esselunga, and others.
Benjamin Mayo, writing for 9to5Mac:
As we reported exclusively last night, Apple Pay is now live in Ireland. The service allows iPhone and Apple Watch owners to use the NFC chips in their devices to pay for their shopping at contactless terminals in retail stores across the country.
Apple Pay requires iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, or any Apple Watch, and is launching with support for Ulster Bank and KBC in Ireland. Apple has also announced that the service is coming soon to Italy.
I've been waiting for Apple Pay to launch in Italy, and I'm glad to see Apple has confirmed the service will roll out "soon". However, as I feared, my bank – despite being one of the largest banking groups in Italy – is not going to be supported at launch. This has happened with 14 other countries (including Ireland) before, though, and I hope Apple will quickly get other major Italian banks on board.
Apple Pay started with point of sale terminals and iOS apps. With iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, Apple has extended Apple Pay to include web-based purchases made with its Safari browser. Despite being limited to Safari, Apple Pay's combination of simplicity and security has the potential to make it a de facto requirement for online retailers.
Late last week Apple made a preliminary submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in relation to the request for permission from various Australian banks to boycott Apple Pay and collectively negotiate with Apple. Apple's submission is comparatively brief at just three pages, but it clearly highlights the approach Apple will take in opposing the banks' request.
In its submission, Apple is quick to highlight the collective dominance of the banks in Australia which account for 66% of credit card balances in Australia, whilst characterising itself as the "new entrant to the Australian market" having only launched Apple Pay in November 2015.
The other angle of attack from Apple is more surprising, and in the submission it appears quite clear that Apple is asserting that the closed nature of the NFC antenna in the iPhone is pivotal to maintaining the security of its users.
Now they ask the ACCC for explicit permission to negotiate with Apple as a collective group. The goal of which is to force Apple and other third party providers to accept their terms, allow them to charge consumers that choose to use Apple Pay, and force Apple to undermine the security of its mobile payment service by opening access to the NFC antenna, placing at risk the consumer experience of a simple, secure, and private way to make payments in store, within, applications, or on the web.
Apple notes that it will make a further, more comprehensive submission, at a later date. But a key purpose of this prelimary submission was to persuade the ACCC that the banks should not be given any interim approval, and that the ACCC should take the "normal 6 month statutory period for assessment".
A few other interesting tidbits from Apple's submission:
- Apple's discussions with Australian banks in relation to Apple Pay began in "late 2014". Apple Pay launched in the US in October 2014.
- One of the applicant banks "has refused to even enter into a confidentiality agreement with Apple to allow for preliminary discussions about the terms under which it would participate in Apple Pay".
- Apple argues that "interim authorisation of a collective boycott will have a lasting and irreversible impact on the adoption of Apple Pay and other third party wallets, and the Australian payment market".
- Apple suggests that Apple Pay is not a competitive threat to the banks; "Unfortunately, and based on their limited understanding of the offering, the applicants perceive Apple Pay as a competitive threat".
- Apple writes "These banks want to maintain complete control over their customers", I would wager the banks would say the exact same thing about Apple.