Apple Pay and the CE Retailer
What about other digital wallets?
The great thing about NFC is that it is a standard – so the digital wallets in the Android ecosystem, for example, can also use a retailer’s NFC capability. Such wallets as Google Wallet and Softcard (owned jointly by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile) are NFC-based wallets and will work the same places as Apple Pay. Plenty of other mobile payments technologies exist – bar code-based payments, like the Starbucks mobile app and the forthcoming CurrentC merchant-owned payments consortium, and beacons, like PayPal, which allow users to check-in to a store and pay using the mobile app – both of which require only software, not hardware, upgrades at the point of sale.
Mobile payments can be about the payment itself – or, in the case of some digital wallets, can be about much more. Softcard, for example, allows integration of loyalty cards and discount offers directly into the payment, making offers easier to redeem and loyalty programs easier to track. Google Wallet allows you to load Valpak coupons, gift cards, and loyalty cards. Apple Pay hasn’t announced such capabilities yet.