Apple has not only made a huge splash in the mobile payment sector with the introduction of Apple Pay, they might have revitalized the entire NFC (Near Field Communication) industry.
Apple Pay is a service allowing iPhone users to use their phone instead of a credit card. The service, which launched October 20th, has seen more than one million card activations within 72 hours of its launch, and Apple is already the leading NFC payments player in the US. This wide adoption of NFC technology means we will be seeing it in more places, sooner than later.
This is huge news for the traveling sector as tens of millions of iPhones enabled with this NFC technology have already been sold, and Apple has proven time and time again it has the power to reshape industries with their dedicated following. Currently, there are more than 225k stores in the U.S. (Apple Pay is not international yet) that are ready to accept contactless payments, and some of these early adopters are the travel companies.
Walt Disney World will begin accepting Apple Pay at all of its registers before Christmas. HotelTonight, a mobile-only booking app, is one of the first companies in the traveling sector to integrate with Apple Pay. Booking a room same-day or in advance on HotelTonight can be done in just three taps, and customers can now pay for a room using Apple Pay with just a touch of a finger on Touch ID.
Not all businesses are rushing to embrace Apple Pay. Recently, a rift has begun between the customers who are demanding a secure choice of payment options, and merchants who are bound to a competing NFC player whose tech is designed around the collection of customer data. Android and Apple users have united to vocalize their desire to choose how their personal information is being used, and the movement is catching some traction.
In the long term, as more and more users are getting used to systems like Apple Pay, there will be demands for it at the hotel front desk and restaurants. Travelers expect choices, and this is one that the hotel software industry might want to offer.
By Ronnie Coleman, Sales Executive at StayNTouch, Inc.