Mobile Commerce

Apple Watch Commercial Pitches Uber – And Apple Pay

It’s not like Apple and Uber really need each other’s help to gain even more name recognition with consumers, but a new ad campaign featuring the two companies might do just that.

Re/code reported late last week (Oct. 22) that Apple has produced a series of 15-second ads highlighting various uses of its Apple Watch, with one of them featuring none other than the ride-hailing app Uber. In the commercial titled “Kiss,” a man and woman are interrupted by her Apple Watch notifying her of her Uber’s arrival, though she swipes the notification away and returns to her man friend as the tagline “Take Your Time” appears on screen.

The Verge explained that the ads, along with “Kiss,” aim to depict concrete situations where the Apple Watch seamlessly fits into users’ lives. The other 15-second spots show users exercising, playing the piano, getting dressed and traveling, all while using various functions of the Apple Watch to streamline their lives.

In an interview with Medium, Yuhki Yamashita, the product manager for Uber’s Apple Watch app design team, explained that optimizing the experience of using Uber was a primary concern as they transitioned from a smartphone format to the Apple Watch.

“The goal was clearly not to replicate the Uber experience on the watch,” Yamashita said. “It’d be ridiculous to make a smaller version of the app on the watch.”

Instead, Yamashita explained that his team built the watch app from the ground up, starting only with the bare information users require when ordering an Uber and building the app’s features out from there. In that respect, Yamashita equated the Uber Watch app to Amazon’s Dash buttons; though they don’t offer the same experience as going to full-fledged sites, both still meet and deliver on consumer expectations despite the relatively short length of average interactions with the app.

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The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.