Apple Pay Interview with WRKO Radio Boston
CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, with Barry Armstrong of WRKO Radio Boston about Apple Pay enticing customers with rewards programs. The interview and transcript are below.
Barry Armstrong: Let’s go to Matt Schulz. You probably would love to get rid of carrying both your wallet and your smartphone, especially given the size of our smartphones now. Matt Schulz from CreditCards.com joins us to talk about Apple Pay. How’re you doing, Matt?
Matt Schulz: I’m great, how are you?
Armstrong: Good, so what did we learn from Apple yesterday as it relates to Apple Pay? Because this program came out last fall, people haven’t been using it very much, have they?
Schulz: No, not to the degree that Apple would like. And what we saw yesterday is that they’re taking kind of the next step in trying to get people to use Apple Pay more. And what they’re doing, they announced that you’ll soon be able to put debit cards and credit cards from retailers into Apple Pay and you’ll also be able to integrate loyalty cards and rewards cards in as well. So it’s an important next step.
Armstrong: Yeah, you have to have that because, for instance, I shop at BJ’s pretty regularly, right. So to go to BJ’s I need my rewards card and I need my credit card. And to go to CVS you need your rewards card and you need your credit card. Until they can give it to me all in one easy to use package I’m not going to do it.
Schulz: Yeah exactly. Americans love their rewards, there’s no question about it. But the big billion dollar question is, can they make people want to start using mobile payments more? I think they probably can, but if they can’t, it’s hard to see what will.
Armstrong: Doesn’t it all come down to the money? Don’t they have to pay us if they want us to use? Like they have to lower the fees or give us a discount. If they said to me, “Hey Barry, if you use Apple Pay will give you a 1% discount over using cash or using your credit cards the old fashioned way” I would then immediately start using Apple Pay.
Schulz: It’s clear that people still need some sort of incentive to use Apple Pay or really any mobile payment. And I think if they were able to come up with some discount that was exclusive to Apple Pay, that would be a really big driver and I wonder if integration of rewards cards might be the first step toward that. We’ll see.
Armstrong: Well that would help, right?
Armstrong: Say you go to a CVS store. They give you four feet worth of receipts and there might be a coupon in there. The receipts are four feet long and then you have to read through the receipts to see if there’s any discounts that you can take advantage of. If they put that on my phone and I knew the next time I went in to buy shaving cream or toothpaste or toothbrushes or whatever it is I’m going in there to buy, if it was automatically applied to my next purchase, that would be a lot. You know what happens to my receipts? They’re sitting in the backseat of my car.
Schulz: Yeah. Well, it really all gets down to the central issue with Apple Pay and that’s that most people don’t think that it’s actually easier to use than plastic. And that and security are really the two central issues and they’ve still got a ways to go to kind of climb that mountain.
Armstrong: I’ve actually had two people text in the last five minutes saying that they’re using it on their watch, on their “iWatch.”
Schulz: That’s interesting. I’ve never used it, I use it on my iPhone. I’ve never used it on the watch and I think the jury is still out on Apple Watch.
Armstrong: Now are all banks compatible with Apple Pay? Because 508 says my bank won’t even take Apple Pay.
Schulz: Not all banks. The number is growing by the day and most of the biggest banks are on-board so it means probably two-thirds, three quarters of all credit cards that are issued will probably work, but that doesn’t include everybody.
Armstrong: Well Matt, thank you very much for your time. Appreciate it.
Schulz: Thank you.