Say hello to Apple Pay and goodbye to cash

This is a contributed article by Simon Black, CEO of PPRO Group which provides a B2B hub connecting payment service providers with national and international payment formats.

Attention is increasingly turning to mobile marketing, mobile commerce and mobile payments with the penetration of smartphones, tablets and other connected devices constantly growing. In addition, the recent announcement that Apple Pay is finally coming to the UK will no doubt spur the mobile industry on to adapt for mobile payments at a faster rate. The UK already has the highest penetration in Europe for point of sale (POS) devices that are ready to accept contactless and mobile payments. 

With Apple’s most significant update to Apple Pay – the rebranding of the Passbook app to Wallet – a major step has been taken in transforming the world of payments, and this is a big statement of intent from Apple as it seeks to replace the physical wallet. The UK, and London specifically, will be at the forefront of the evolution from physical wallets to virtual wallets that replace payment cards, loyalty cards, Oyster travel cards, plane tickets and much more. Research from the Payments Council revealed that non-cash payments have already overtaken cash payments, which have fallen in the UK from 52% in 2013 to 48% in 2014. 

Today’s consumers expect a uniform experience across all retail channels, and a wide range of payment options has become essential not just for online stores, but at point of sale (POS). If retailers embrace and accept Apple Pay, they will be able to speed up their payment process, accept twice as many transactions and therefore increase their profits.

Mobile payments will become just one of many options taken for granted in the future, and although it is true that mobile payment is still in its infancy, the explosive growth of contactless payments in the past 18 months means that in just a few short years from now, payments via smart devices are likely to be just as commonplace as paying by cash, debit or credit card today. Research from Gartner predicts that mobile payment adoption rates will catch on quickly, estimating an annual volume and value increase that will average a 35% growth rate until 2017.

There’s no doubt that the world of payments is transforming, and as a result of this, cash can expect to slip even further down the preference list over the coming years until it will most likely become obsolete in most places by 2025.


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