THE FIRST BITE OF THE APPLE

In honour of the launch of Apple Pay in the UK, we’ve renamed today’s Retail Bytes as Apple Bytes, since retail history is being written on our watch!

No slice of Apple pie for Barclays Never short of a big bang or two, this year’s Apple developers’ conference ushered in an explosion of new products and the announcement that Apple Pay is crossing the Atlantic to hit the UK high street next month. With a staggering 70% of UK cardholders able to get Apple Pay support, nearly all of the major UK banks are lined up for action. As we were running pre-launch seminars for UK retailers, it was great to see so many of the usually slow-off-the-mark financial giants pulling their socks up for the launch with the speed and swiftness of a financial gazelle. Alas, everyone except for bumbling Barclays, who are getting their knickers in the twist over some internal IT niggles and will not be ready until later in the year. Their customers are not happy, taking to Twitter to vent their frustration and threatening to jump ship!

Pin and pay Pinterest, the digital pin board app used by over 70 million people worldwide, is inviting pinners to join the Apple Pay movement through buyable pins. Look out for a pin with a blue price tag and tap ‘Buy It’ to purchase using Apple Pay or a your regular credit card (boring). Watch the video for a demo, and if you’re a retailer make sure you’re ready for the rollout – even the snail-paced French are getting excited and laying out contactless plans as part of their Retail Industrial Policy (yes they do have one of those)!

The Cook, the Wi-Fi thief and the privacy lover As 91% of consumers disagree with being tracked online in exchange for offers and discounts, 2015 should be the year that online privacy and corporate trust come back into (tech) fashion. In response to consumer objections Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, made waves at an online privacy conference, promising that ‘nobody [at Apple] will read your emails’ on Apple products. The iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple Pay set their standard as the most secure products in the market, compared to Google or Facebook where your data is the real product. Retailers deploying in-store Wi-Fi tracking devices may need to reconsider to avoid consumer wrath and loss of trust.

Secure what?? Hackers didn’t get Tim Cook’s memo about Apple security and already the iPhone Wi-Fi auto-connection is being flaunted as having a high-risk vulnerability. A hack attack could be implemented by a cyber-thief near customers who have just completed an Apple Pay transaction. By captivating the user’s screen via Wi-Fi, he can request that the credit card data is re-entered by the hapless shopper. When in doubt, never re-enter your data, as Apple would typically never ask for that.

Rewards get a makeover Apple Pay is going to let you get the most out of your purchases, adding support for rewards programs and store-issued credit cards to their Wallet app, so you can seamlessly swipe them at checkout. US-based Walgreens Pharmacy, and owner of our very own Boots, has over 80 million active members on their Balance Rewards program and now they’ll be able to access their rewards with Apple Pay. Coca-Cola and Dunkin’ Donuts are also porting their rewards programs so you can add points as fast as you add calories!