With Priceline.com's addition of Apple Pay to its travel-booking app last week, Apple Pay is well on its way to becoming a must-have feature for on-the-go travel apps, according to travel-industry website Skift.
"Sixty-five percent of our customers are booking less than 24 hours in advance," said John Caine, Priceline's chief product officer. "They're likely already in the city where they're staying. One of the biggest hurdles is figuring out that credit card" -- including the awkwardness of inputing card information on a small screen when booking a hotel on short notice, and the possibility of not having the card in hand.
With Apple Pay, those problems are removed and the transaction is fast-tracked, "skipping verification steps taking precious seconds many travelers don’t have," Skift notes.
"Our mobile users are twice as likely to try a payment method other than credit card compared to our desktop users and we saw our iPhone customers as being a great target," Caine said.
He added that Priceline is also "thrilled" so far with the success it has seen from Android customers using Google Wallet, Google's Apple-Pay-like mobile payments system that has been largely written off by retailers. "Our customers who use Google Wallet are converting to purchases 64 percent more than those not signed in as a guests using a Google user name," said Caine. "This shows that our customers validate it. We're able to take a very complex process and able to make it much simpler. Priceline is happy to support technology that's more secure."