The rise in mobile payment for everyday activities is an indication of people's ever-increasing reliance on their smartphones. Meeting the shifting needs of today's ‒ and tomorrow's ‒ consumers, The Coca-Cola Company is supporting this growing purchasing behavior1 through Apple Pay™ for iPhones and Google Wallet for Android devices.
Presently, more than 70,000 Coke vending machines in the United States are currently equipped to process Apple Pay transactions ‒ as well as purchases with other near-field communication (NFC) solutions ‒ via contactless readers that let consumers buy a drink by holding up their phones. That, according to Tom Daly, Coke's global group director for mobile, makes The Coca-Cola Company one of the largest retail acceptors of Apple Pay. The Company's North American vending fleet will include 100,000 Apple Pay-enabled machines by the end of 2015.
"This is yet another way The Coca-Cola Company is using the phone in one hand to put a Coke in the other," Daly says.
Apple Pay and Google Wallet make buying quick and easy, and they are more secure than magnetic-stripe credit cards. Though they incorporate perfectly into busy lives, they depend on retailers having the technology in place to accept payment.
"By 2020, mobile is going to be a mainstream way of making payment transactions."— Derek Myers, director of vending strategy
"The Coca-Cola Company had the foresight to buy contactless readers four years ago ‒ prior to mobile payments taking off," says Derek Myers, director of vending strategy, Coca-Cola Refreshments. "Now we're seeing a lot of contactless transactions on our machines. Since Apple Pay was launched, we've seen double the number of contactless payments2." Mobile payments currently make up 1 percent of U.S. Coca-Cola vending transactions; The Company expects that to rise to 10 to 20 percent in the next five years, Myers says.
People desire to use their mobile wallets at places they frequent most: gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants and vending. Prior to Apple Pay, Myers says, there was uncertainty in the market regarding NFC, so merchants were not investing in new readers that accept contactless payments. With Apple's iPhone 6 launch, consumers started to adopt mobile payment, and more merchants are accepting NFC payments every day. Many of them already have the technology to do so; it's just a matter of enabling the function on their existing readers.
"Younger generations don't carry cash, so we're employing ways to meet their needs," Myers says. "By 2020, mobile is going to be a mainstream way of making payment transactions."
1. eMarketer, Sept. 2014
2. The Coca-Cola Company proprietary research