Apple (News - Alert) Pay's staggering rise has been one to watch over the last several months, and in that time, it's managed to find its way to a variety of stores from niche to major chains, and even break up some unified fronts. Now, Apple Pay has reportedly landed a new home in the depot, specifically, The Home Depot, which reportedly has an eye to bring Apple Pay to its over 2,000 locations.
Such a move would make Home Depot the biggest retail chain yet to accept Apple Pay, but Home Depot wouldn't be accepting Apple Pay in isolation. The company currently accepts PayPal (News - Alert), and as such may be looking to add more types of mobile payment mechanisms in response to customer demand. Interestingly, reports suggest that users were already using Apple Pay at Home Depot despite the lack of a formal agreement, but that was more a condition of circumstance; Home Depot's checkout terminals were near-field communications (NFC) capable, thus allowing Apple Pay to be put to work regardless of lack of agreement. But with a new agreement in place, the systems will likely be brought back up to speed.
This is a good deal for Apple Pay, of course, which needs to count as many merchants as possible in the mix in order to make its mobile payment system viable. Given that the mobile payment market is set to handle around $67 billion in transactions this year—according to reports from Forrester (News - Alert) Research—having as big a stake in that field as possible can translate into an excellent source of recurring income for its processor. Major banks and credit card companies, meanwhile, are reportedly putting hope in Apple Pay as a way to help drive the mobile payments market.
But with the mobile payments market as a whole becoming increasingly populated with competitors like Samsung (News - Alert)'s Samsung Pay service, Apple Pay will have quite a bit of competition to fend off, particularly in the early going. Apple's going to have to really put out quite a product to stay ahead. Impressive name recognition certainly works for it, but it's still got quite a project ahead.
For instance, Samsung Pay can reportedly work at as many as 30 million retail locations right out of the gate, since it works with current debit and credit card apparatuses, meaning that it doesn't need agreements the way Apple Pay does. Moreover, there's a major stir brewing in CurrentC, the product of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) which represents several major chains like Target (News - Alert) and Walmart. While ranks have been broken there already as Best Buy reportedly made a move to take Apple Pay, and Best Buy was at last report one of the MCX's founding members, there's no guarantee that anyone else will, and the sooner CurrentC can be made available, the better chance it has of fending off Apple Pay. Even Walmart alone may have sufficient market clout to do that job.
While much of the mobile payment market remains to be resolved, one thing is clear: there are enough big names going after a slice of this market that the consumer will likely prove the winner, aggressively courted by top names eager to get a piece of a massive market in the making.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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