Sea Change: WalMart Surpassing Apple in Mobile Payments
What's exciting about following the world of tech and mobile are those moments when the market finally coalesces around a "winner."
Despite huge amounts invested in the effort, Apple appears to be losing ground in mobile payments and is about to be overtaken by WalMart. But, the big question is, why?
If this were a marketing case, you'd want to do a "Willingness-to-Pay" (WTP) analysis between ApplePay and WalMart's payment app. Here's a great overview of WTP. In that analysis, you do frame your product in two different ways:
1. What could I add to my product that would raise a customer's willingness to pay for or use the product?
2. What aspects of my product that I am paying for DO NOT raise my customer's WTP.
And an example they use is Tastycake. They had not been using preservatives in their snack cakes. But, since they are in the business of perishable foods, that meant they had to replace a lot of stock in stores. This required a lot of product and a lot of labor to take the new product out to stores. Tastycake realized that their customers didn't care about preservatives. SO, they added them and had to replace a lot less stock and send a lot fewer trucks out to stores.
WalMart's app is incredibly useful--you can remote order, pre-pay, access deals and more. ApplePay is. . . well. . . already on your phone. That's an advantage but it's not enough on its own.
The early indication is that retailers, not handset makers will win the mobile payment wars. Starbucks and Taco Bell are also big winners on this front. Unless handset makers can find new ways to add value to payments (discounts, services, etc.), it's going to be a very tough road.