Apple Rewards Launching this Holiday Season?

October 28, 2014         By: Gregory Sweet

Apple Pay has a loyalty program that could launch sooner than expected.

Rumors began swirling in mid-August of an Apple rewards plan. Initially anticipated for release in October 2015 to possibly coincide with Apple Pay 2.0, 2014’s holiday shopping season may offer the first glimpse of loyalty rewards for Apple Pay users. Recent reports cite increased market demand has pushed forward the program’s roll out date.

The Apple Pay rewards system is anticipated to link with iBeacon technology. Introduced in 2013, iBeacons use a combination of Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi to transmit data to nearby store specific apps which then alert smartphones with coupons or additional product information. Apple’s reward program would likely offer exclusive discounts and promotions for consumers making Apple Pay transactions.

A shift towards mobile payments just before the upcoming holiday season may be challenging for retailers, but with an October 2015 deadline for EMV requirements fast approaching, a rewards program may entice holiday customers and smooth the transition away from traditional plastic.

The loyalty program could coincide with the launch of a tap-to-buy button embedded in mobile ads. Digiday reported this new feature to iAds may also be ready this holiday shopping season.

Already functional with the fingerprint validation system Touch ID found on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3, Apple Pay is expected to be compatible with the Apple Watch expected for release early next year.