Apple, Macy’s Debut Digital Wallets

To great fanfare, Apple introduced its digital wallet, Apple Pay, on Sept. 9. However, more retailers are getting into the mobile payments market.

Last month Macy’s Inc. introduced My Wallet, an app that will allow Macy’s customers to organize their payment options when shopping at Macy’s. It also will offer easy access to Macy’s promotions and deals.

Digital-wallet technology took its first major public bow in 2011 when the Google Wallet, which was developed by Google, was introduced. It provided an online place for its users to store debit cards, credit cards, loyalty cards and gift cards as well as a place to redeem sales promotions on mobile phones.

It gained a lot of press attention, but the public did not embrace it, according to Greg Sterling, a frequent pundit on media and personal technology and vice president of strategy and insights for Local Search Association, a marketing trade association in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, there is a good chance that Apple Pay will succeed, Sterling wrote in a Marketing Land blog on Sept. 9.

People using Apple products and apps are already in heavy use among a wide array of consumers who navigate their day’s tasks with their iPhones and iPads, so it wouldn’t be a far leap for this big group of consumers to start using Apple Pay, Sterling contended. These consumers already pay for Apple goods with credit cards on iTunes. Also, Apple partnered with popular brands to accept Apple Pay. They include Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Disney Store, McDonald’s, Nike and Whole Foods.

Recently introduced digital wallets also may have the benefit of riding on a cresting wave. More consumers are shopping through m-commerce on their smartphones and tablets. On May 13, comScore Inc., which analyzes the e-commerce business, said that American consumers spent $7.3 billion through m-commerce in the first quarter of 2014. It was a 23 percent increase compared with the same time in the previous year.

comScore also found that desktop e-commerce spending in the first quarter of 2014 increased 12 percent to $56.1 billion in a year-over-year comparison.