Apple iPhone X – the future of mobile payments

Apple’s new iPhone X is set to arrive in stores in the UK (and globally) this Friday, November 3rd, 2017.

The brand new feature of the Apple X is Face ID: The primary way to unlock the new phone is with the face scanner. More importantly, the new iPhone X will use the technology not only to unlock the phone but also to authorise users for mobile payments (and for new 3-D emojis.)

Andy McDonald, Vice President, Merchant Payments at ACI Worldwide comments on what this development means for mobile payments:

“The launch of Apple X could be one of many inflection points that drive consumers across the globe to use mobile devices as their main method of payment as it removes friction from the payment process.

 “While many Western countries debate the ‘future of cash’ and whether the use of cards will one day be challenged by mobile payments, in China this discussion is irrelevant. China has adopted mobile almost exclusively as their payment channel of choice. In China it is almost laughed at if you try to pay with cash and payment by card is seen as inconvenient as every one of every age is connected to their mobiles for social, content and services related reasons.

 “Alipay, the world’s largest online and mobile payment platform with more than 450 million active Chinese users, and Chinese social media platform WeChat with over 963 million monthly active users, are the dominant forms of payments in China. In little over 5 years, these two digital platforms have changed the nature of Chinese retail payments, and shifted hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens away from cash to electronic payments.

 “Many European retailers are currently scrambling to accept Chinese customers’ payments and maybe left with no choice in accommodating new forms of payments that are being driven by the extreme forces of the Chinese consumer economy.

 “However, security is a big concern for many consumers globally and we have seen many false starts in biometric technology deployments related to reliability and consumers’ concerns about data and security.”