In Australia, Apple Pay Boosts Credit Card, Deposit Account Applications

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In Australia, the ANZ Banking Group found something strange happen after it started accepting Apple Pay. It experienced “a surge in applications for credit cards and deposit accounts” to such a degree that it “has forced the other major banks to re-enter negotiations” with Apple, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald. In other words, Australian shoppers found the idea of the NFC payment method so significant that they wanted to engage in non-Apple Pay-related banking functions.

“ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott said at the bank’s interim results last week that online credit card applications were up 20 per cent since the deal with Apple was announced on April 28,” the story noted, adding that the figures “were the highest on record” and “more than double the average.” Elliott was quoted as saying “that the higher level is continuing.”

This is consistent with much of what we’ve said about Apple Pay, that this huge a behavioral change needs to be a psychological shift. This will need to be a right-brain move—focused on emotions, intuition and imagination—rather than a left-brain (logic, analysis, linear) move. Bankers and payment professionals are notoriously left-brain people, while Apple is the quintessential right-brain company.

If Apple’s strategy works, there will be a mutually-beneficial relationship with partners. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are perfect partners, as are trendy boutiques and neighborhood espresso bars. Look at the Apple Pay commercials. They want to be in places seen as hip and—please forgive me—cool. And by accepting Apple Pay, some of that billion-dollar marketing rubs off on them.

Witness ANZ. They saw Apple Pay as another payment method, akin to accepting Diner’s Club, Discover or PayPal. Their customers saw Apple Pay as a social media inspired bowl of good kharma. That’s why the Apple Pay move made ANZ itself—and all of its products—look more attractive.

To be clear, I am not predicting that Apple Pay will enter 2020 with 50 percent marketshare or anything close to that. But they are growing to dominate in carefully selected and groomed merchants—and they’ll then cut deals with any banker who is willing to pay their inflated cut.

Bottom line: Apple Pay is unlike anything that payments has ever seen. The sooner payments people internalize that, the better it will be.

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