By: Austin Dicharry
Apple has been trying to make their iOS line of devices (which includes the iPhone and the iPad, among others) something of a “one stop shop” for mobile solutions for almost as long as they’ve existed. With the initial release of the iPhone, Apple took the digital media functionality that it had become famous for and combined it with a mobile phone to create a device that performs just as well as a phone as it does as an MP3 or movie file player. That tradition continued with both later versions of the iPhone and the iOS operating system. With the release of iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices, Apple has once again taken a firm step in a bold new direction with the release of Apple Pay.
In many ways, Apple Pay is the natural successor to the Passbook feature that has been a permanent fixture of iOS since iOS version 7. Passbook was designed as a way for users to store all gift card and certain types of purchasing information within a single app for maximum convenience. If a user purchased movie tickets using the Fandango service, for example, a record of that purchase could be stored within Passbook until the time for redemption came. The same was true for Starbucks gift cards and goods purchased at other types of merchants.
Apple Pay takes things one step farther and creates a mobile payment system that lets users pay for nearly any purchase using their Apple devices. Once the appropriate credit or debit cards have been added to their iOS device, a user can simply swipe a button on their phone and pay for goods and services at thousands of retailers all over the country using a wireless transaction. The need for physical credit cards has been practically eliminated.
Though Apple Pay is certainly exciting for both merchants and for users, it is equally important to the future of programmatic advertising. After only a few moments of thinking about the possibilities, the importance of Apple Pay to these techniques becomes abundantly clear.
Programmatic advertising is based largely on the past interactions that a user has had with certain online retailers. If a user views a particular product on a website but doesn’t purchase it, for example, the next several advertisements they see elsewhere on the Internet may feature that exact same product.
In a way, Apple Pay is the perfect avenue for physical brick and mortar retailers to get in on the world of programmatic advertising. After a user visits a particular store or researches a product, programmatic advertising on the user’s mobile device could kick in and not only recommend those products, but present them for sale. Because the user’s shipping and billing information is already stored within the phone, the sales funnel becomes incredibly easy and users can pay for and ship those products directly to their homes with the swipe of a finger. Apple Pay will no doubt play a hugely important role in the world of programmatic advertising for years to come.