I had high hopes for Apple Pay. I love the convenience and security of not having to worry about carrying around a load of credit cards and the system – along with Google Wallet – are more secure than the cards we are using today. Last week I talked about my disastrous experience trying to use Apple Pay for travel, including two hotels that had no idea what I was talking about. Well, it looks like it won’t be getting any better anytime soon.
As they do very frequently, SmartBrief asked their readers a polling question: Has your hotel adopted the Apple Pay system? The responses say it all.
Over three-quarters of the respondents said no. Rounding out the remainder of the 100%, less than one in four respondents said they are even thinking about it. None of them said yes.
I am sure this has nothing to do with the pushback from the competitive Merchants Customer Exchange that I wrote about recently. Nevertheless, it was just reported today that their CurrentC system was hacked, not a promising start to a program that won’t even be available until next year.
No, this is all about having to buy new readers for Near Field Communications (NFC) but the hotel industry may want to think about it sooner rather than later. Hotels claim that online agencies (OTAs) like Expedia are taking profits away from them. If these OTAs adopt Apple Pay before the hotels do – and the system becomes popular – it will only make the OTAs stronger, the worst nightmare for chains that want you to book directly through their own portals. As far as I know, HotelsTonight is the only related business already onboard with Apple Pay.
It is anyone’s guess which hotel chain will adopt Apple Pay first but one thing is known: It won’t happen this year.