Priceline.com has integrated Apple Pay into its IOS app, allowing payment via Touch ID, saying that mobile users are much more likely to use it than Priceline’s desktop customers.
“Our customers are smart, and on-the-go, and our mobile customers are two times more likely to choose an alternative payment method than our desktop customers,” said Priceline.com’s Chief Product Officer, John Caine. “Apple Pay makes purchasing travel easy and secure so travelers can pay quickly and seamlessly with a single touch.”
Priceline said the move to Apple Pay “can effectively cut (customers’) reservation path from an average of five screens to three and can pay for select hotel without having to manually enter credit card information.” The first time Apple Pay is used, the customer must type in an E-mail address and a phone number, said Jonathan Taylor, Priceline.com, VP, Mobile technology. But for any subsequent purchases, that data is associated with the Apple Pay ID so that it can all be autopopulated. The fingerprint scan will serve as the only needed authentication, after that first transaction, Taylor said.
One complicating factor with the Priceline support of Apple Pay is that Priceline needs to complete two distinct authentications for each transaction: the first is the routine payment card authentication; the second is digitally contacting the hotel or airline to verify space and price availability, Taylor said. A failure for either will require the system to immediately go back to the other to undo the request. For example, if the hotel’s availability is confirmed and the room is reserved but the transaction fails, the system has to go back to that hotel to release the room. Alternatively, if the card charge is approved but the desired room is no longer available, the card charge must be reversed, he said.