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Apple Pay & Your Credit Union

Updates: 6/17/24 with details on replacing Apple Pay Later with Affirm integration in Apple Pay. 11/2/23 with details on Apple Pay Later. 3/26/19 with renamed Apple Cash, Apple Card details, and cleaned up formatting. 11/13/17 with latest info on Apple Pay Cash.

Yesterday, Apple hosted their annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference Keynote. Of their big public events, this is my favorite, as it discusses the technologies they’re pursuing, rather than simply the newest iPhone. And are they pursuing.

Apple Event Highlights

There are great sites to read up on the highlights (ArsTechnica is my favorite). From iOS 11 to macOS High Sierra (yes, they actually called it that) to innovations with augmented and virtual reality platforms, they’ve showed their hand for the next year.

The “Apple-ification” of Banking

But there was something else featured which should concern you more than their upcoming in-home speaker: Payments. After years of requests, Apple has added peer-to-peer payments to ApplePay.

(In October 2023, Apple Pay Later, their BNPL solution, launched, but will be replaced as of September 2024 through a relationship with Affirm. Still an installment-based payment system, just through the industry leader instead.)

Specifically, within Messages. As of iOS 11, you can send or receive money while in a message conversation with anyone. It will use your credit and debit cards linked to your ApplePay account.

Of course, these are yours, right? Remember how important it is to get your cards top of wallet, both in the back pocket and digitally!

Value of Direct Payments

This new world of direct payments can be an enormous opportunity for your credit union. Think of all the times people share small cash payments. A few dollars for lunch, a bit more for gas, or any number of possibilities.

Position your digital card properly and your members can be earning rewards for those, as well as reaping you interchange income (Unless they’re using the Apple Card, which isn’t through your institution. In that case, you already lost).

Regardless of how much you make when members use your card, being the one they use is essential.

Your Member Just Became an Apple Customer (For Banking)

Of course, there is also a threat. What if a person doesn’t have (or want to use) a debit/credit card? Well, there will now be an ApplePay Cash account (As of 3/26/19, it’s just Apple Cash). That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Apple just became the face of your cards (and institution)! Careful, or it could start to steal your members as well. My suggestion? Work with it. Encourage members of all ages and financial situations to use it for seamless payments to and from family, friends, even businesses (maybe they can’t qualify for an account with free bill pay?).  Convenient for your member, profitable (and sticky) for you.

Embrace Tech!

Technology can seem scary for embedded industries. Instead of ignoring it (remember how Siri can now handle bill payments?) and hoping doom doesn’t befall your world, brainstorm how you can lead alongside.

It’s always about best serving your members.

Image credit: https://philoforchange.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/mon1.jpg


  1. Cortney

    This is the number one reason I ask my team to report feedback from members asking for these payment methods. We need to offer them to compete and make them our own!

    • Joe Winn

      Courtney, it sounds like your Credit Union team is hot on serving your members the way they want! That’s what I’m trying to get across: You’re not going to be the world’s go-to contactless payment system. However, if you can be a part of it for your members, and show them how it benefits them to be part (if they want), then you’re ahead of the curve. It’s always about helping your members achieve their life goals by assisting them with the financial aspect. (No one looks to buy a house by imagining the amazing mortgage experience). Thanks again for your input!

  2. Norris H. Moore

    I just used Apple-pay a few days ago. It was seamless and very advantageous.

    • Joe Winn

      Norris, I agree. It almost makes spending money too easy! As long as you remind your members to make sure it’s your card they select each time. Could be with rewards or some other perk. Or, for many, simply because it helps support their Credit Union. Do you find you have those kind of community-minded members at Golden 1?

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