Apple expands its mobile payment service in efforts to give customers more options and reach a key demographic.
Western Union is the latest company to work with ApplePay to provide bill pay and money transferring services. The company’s flagship locations and drugstore kiosks will soon support money transfers via the service. One Duane Reade location in New York City already offers support.
Apple Pay makes transferring money simple
The new support from Western Union means people can use their iPhones to fund money transfers or pay bills. Sending money transactions still requires a registered debit or credit card at a participating bank to be loaded into Passbook. The new contact-less payment terminals allow iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus users to hold their smartphone near the reader and pay using their fingerprint from the Touch ID.
As with most Apple Pay transactions, the card number is not shared or transmitted to Western Union during the exchange. The president of Western Union / European Union, Odilon Almeida, sees payment options as a strategic focus for his company. Their customers’ needs remain a priority.
Apple hopes to reach a mobile savvy demographic
The finance company noted that many immigrants who send international money transfers are mobile-savvy. Six out of 10 migrants own a smartphone, and two-thirds of migrants are frequent transfer senders. Western Union’s chief information officer, David Thompson, added that customers have expectations of mobile technology making money transfers easier. The company wants to harness the system with modifications to link it all together.
Apple Pay first debuted in October with limited support. Since then, it has expanded to an estimated 225,000 retailers. It also accrued a sizeable number of banks and credit card providers. Although Apple Pay is proving to be quite a success, it may not be the revenue stream it was hoped to be. According to BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis, Apple may not see a lot in profits from the new mobile payment system. The company only earns about 15 cents per every $100 transaction.