Apple’s mobile payments solution Apple Pay, which is turning two this month, is facing stiff competition in an already crowded field, which is why it needs to find new ways to stand out, Bloomberg is reporting. Although Apple is still the market leader of in-store mobile payments, the company’s own partners like Kohl’s and Wal-Mart have now rolled out their individual mobile-payment services, further saturating the market for Apple Pay.
Next year, a number of retailers and fast-food restaurants will start their own mobile-payment services, with some of them also offering Apple Pay. Having expanded the service to Russia earlier this month, Apple is now looking to add more features to Apple Pay, such as transit cards and retail loyalty cards.
Apple Pay already works on the London Underground, buses and other forms of transit in Japan. “We’ve taken away the whole step of people having to buy a ticket,” said Shashi Verma, director of customer experience at Transport for London.
Apple is looking to serve more transit systems as cities like New York and Boston move toward tap-based mobile payments as an option. Some commuter rail lines servicing both cities currently let customers buy tickets from within an app.
Until Apple Pay gets its own loyalty program of some sorts, it is making it easier for consumers to take advantage of merchant reward plans, by partnering with firms like Walgreens Boots Alliance and French telecom giant Orange SA.