The PCR Retail Advisory Board discusses how Apple Pay will affect UK retailers

Is Apple Pay the future?

After launching its contactless payment service Apple Pay in the US, Apple CEO Tim Cook said retailers should accept it or risk alienating their customers – here’s what the PCR Retail Advisory Board thinks.

Partner, Pudsey Computers

”I don’t think Russia will want to sign up! Tim Cook’s comments are very bold. I don’t think retailers will alienate their customers by not adopting Apple Pay – I think Apple are possibly alienating themselves by saying that. I can see big chains signing up and associating themselves with the brands, which looks good, but it takes some rolling out. As always I think these things should be more organic, so where payments naturally transition across to, rather than trying to force it to happen.

“Looking back at the days of the MP3 player, it kind of caught on, but when Apple brought out the iPod it just worked. There’s also a lot of new tech and software companies building themselves around this digital procurement model that uses NFC, so it’s certainly very interesting.”


”Well the concept has been there for quite some time, and it’s probably taken someone like Apple with their clout to really bring it to the attention of the wider public, rather than just IT people. So that’s a good thing.

“We don’t know the timescale in the UK, and it’s a bit odd because in the UK we’ve got chip and pin but in the States they haven’t rolled that out, so it will be quite a leap for them. But I think in the UK we’ll adopt it quickly because the contactless technology is used on the London Underground and in other areas. From the consumer’s point of view, I can’t wait for it to roll out, but does Apple really need to say businesses are going to get left behind? Do the means justify that? I don’t think it’s really that fair.

“Plus we don’t know how much it’s costing the retailers or the infrastructures they’ve got to bring in. This new technology should be quite good fun, but it could be a burden to some businesses.”

Director, Utopia Computers

”The fact that Apple has had more than one million activations of its payment service within the first week of launching, it shows that they have chosen a great time to move into the mobile payment marketplace.

“They certainly have an advantage over Google Wallet as they don’t store your card details on the cloud – security conscious consumers will see this as a major advantage. I don’t necessarily agree with the arrogance of Apple’s statement, however, I would like to think that Utopia is on trend with the latest technology innovations. We have accepted PayPal in store for quite a while now, so if our customers want to pay by Apple Pay, then Utopia will start to accept it.”

UK channel manager, Synaxon

”Security is the most obvious issue. Hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated and are coming up with ingenious ways of getting around the multitude of security layers. Whilst Apple has probably the best security, I think the others have a way to catch up.

“Privacy would be an issue too. Customers are becoming more concerned about this – they do not want companies to know every aspect of their lives, for example where they are and at what time, what they are buying and how much they spend. If your business model was built on advertising, then this data would be very valuable.

“On the plus side, Apple Pay would make things much easier. I can seriously see this as the beginning of the end of cash and credit cards. It is so easy to simply pull out your phone or maybe your smartwatch, and then place your finger on the device to authenticate the payment. Why would you want to fumble around with counting your cash, digging out your credit cards or trying to remember your pin?”

MD, YoYoTech

”Apple’s new form of contactless payment is definitely a step towards the future. If it works well, this will also be a major step forward in the world of virtual payments overall. Only time will tell whether it has its drawbacks or not. Us at YoYoTech are currently looking into its implementation.”

PCR asks its Retail Advisory Panel – formed of buyers and experts – about the biggest industry trends and issues each month. To join, email

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