Apple takes on PayPal with Apple Pay on the web

Online shopping is about to get even easier.

At WWDC today in San Francisco, Apple finally announced that Apple Pay is coming to the web this fall. Mac users will be able to pay online in Safari using a “Pay with Apple Pay” button, and authenticate their purchase using Touch ID on their phone or watch.

Previously, Apple Pay could only be used in select iOS apps, as well as at physical retail stores.

So how will authentication work? When you are ready to check out online, Apple’s Continuity feature will pull up a prompt on your phone or watch to quickly authentically and complete your purchase. You’ll either use Touch ID on your phone or tap your pre-authenticated watch to confirm the purchase, which will automatically process in the browser.

While retail partners will need to integrate Apple Pay into their checkout flow, Apple said it has already signed up tons of merchants to the payment platform. These include companies like Target, Expedia, United Airlines, and more.

The move also means Apple is firmly setting its sights on PayPal, the current king of payments on the web. And since it seems like Apple Pay may be even faster than checking out with PayPal, it’s likely most websites that currently use PayPal will offer Apple Pay as an additional payment option for customers.

As much as Apple touts its apps as a shopping platform, the plain old internet is where the majority of e-commerce happens. So until now, Apple has been missing out on that entire segment of shoppers. By bringing Apple Pay to the web, Apple is introducing their payment method to an entire new segment of shoppers – those that don’t shop in apps, or just prefer shopping on the web.

Interestingly, Apple Pay will also be available inside the new iMessage Apps  SDK, meaning developers can add the ability for users to purchase things from within an iMessage conversation.

Apple also announced Apple Pay will launch in Switzerland, France, and Hong Kong this summer.


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