Apple to announce new rewards program for Apple Pay at WWDC

BY Gautam Prabhu

Published 28 May 2015

Apple Pay - Wells Fargo

The New York Times reports that Apple is planning to launch a new rewards program for Apple Pay at next month’s WWDC.

The report claims that Apple plans to announce details of the enhancements to Apple Pay at its developer conference.

People familiar with Apple Pay said that next month, Apple will announce such a program offering perks to consumers who make purchases with the service, though they declined to reveal details.

Apple launched Apple Pay in October 2014. The report notes that even though Apple Pay had generated a lot of awareness for mobile payments, a reward program was important to incentivize users to keep using Apple’s mobile wallet. The report does not provide any further details about how the reward program would work.

In the early part of September, 2014, a report surfaced that suggested Apple was working on a “rewards program” for Apple Pay. There were also rumors that Apple would launch the loyalty program late last year for the holiday season, though it was initially expected that Apple would launch the program with Apple Pay 2.0, tentatively scheduled for October 2015.

The previous report suggested that Apple planned on monetizing Apple Pay by integrating iAds with the mobile payments service. This would be utilized in conjunction with Bluetooth LE and iBeacons, with targeted ads cropping up with a “Buy” option within them for easy access to consumers. They would pop up while visiting a participating merchant, and, theoretically, would pull information from previous purchases to suggest products one might buy while visiting.

Google is working on a new in-store and in-app payments API for third-party applications. The API will be called Android Pay and is slated to be unveiled at Google I/O this year. The APIs will allow developers to integrate mobile payments option in their app providing users with one-tap transactions once they have entered their credit or debit card details. The New York Times also reports that Google plans to reintroduce Google Wallet as a peer-to-peer payments app that can be used by Android users to send money to each other.

Coming back to Apple Pay and the new rewards program, it is not clear from the report as to when the new rewards program will be rolled out. I’m assuming that it will Apple will launch the new rewards program later this fall along with the release of iOS 9.

Have you already used Apple Pay? Do you think a rewards program is a good idea?

[via The New York Times]