Will Coronavirus Make Apple Pay and Google Pay Universal?

Oddly, coronavirus could drive mass adoption of mobile payment apps such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

For instance, Publix, a Florida-based supermarket chain with a cult-like following, now accepts both Apple Pay and Google Pay, 9to5 Mac reports. This marks a huge change for Publix; which had been resistant to NFC payments solutions, such as Google Pay.

To clarify, Near Field Communications (NFC) apps such as Apple Pay use a wireless signal to connect to a company’s payment system via a cash register. However, major retailers such as Walmart (NYSE: WMT) said no to NFC. To explain, I think retailers distrust NFC because it gives outside companies direct access to their payment systems.

America’s Fifth Largest Grocer Accepts Apple Pay

Tellingly, Walmart still refuses to accept Apple Pay. However, smaller retailers such as Publix are now accepting mobile payment apps. Publix now accepts mobile pay because customers and employees want to avoid direct contact with people.

Publix is a big catch for Apple Pay and Google Pay, because it operates 1,239 stores in the Southeastern United States. Impressively, Progressive Grocer lists Publix as America’s fifth largest grocer with yearly sales of $28.535 billion in 2018.

In addition, some giant U.S. retailers such as Safeway, Target (NYSE: TGT), Trader Joe’s, 7-Eleven, Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST), Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS), Walgreen’s (NASDAQ: WBA), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), Albertson’s, The Gap (NYSE: GPS), Office Depot/Office Max (NASDAQ: ODP), Staples, and Amazon’s Whole Foods accept Apple Pay. Additionally, such popular eateries as Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), Subway, McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD), KFC, Pizza Hut, Dunkin Donuts, and Chick-fil-A accept Apple Pay.

Chinese Transit Accepts Apple Pay

Significantly, many transit systems in China now accept Apple Pay’s Express Transit feature.

Express Transit allows commuters to pay for subway and train rides with Apple. Currently, the London Underground, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and Portland’s light rail accept Express transit, 9to5 Mac report.

Currently, Express Transit integrates with China’s T-Union cards in 275 Chinese cities, 9to5 Mac reports. I think one reason Chinese transit accepts Express Transit to avoid exposure to Coronavirus.

Meanwhile, 108 additional U.S. banks and credit unions started supporting Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Google Payas of 8 April 2020, Android Police claims. Thus, I think Coronavirus could make mobile pay the standard payment method for many people.

On the other hand, only time will tell if coronavirus will help mobile payment and digital cash supplement paper cash.