On the heels of the latest round of mobile wallet adoption numbers and the findings that 19 out of every 20 consumers with an iPhone that can use Apple Pay at a merchant that accepts it does not, the team at Apple has introduced a new feature aimed at driving customer adoption.
“We all know there are two ways to change human behavior,” an Apple Pay spokesperson said in an impromptu press briefing in San Francisco this morning. “You can offer people a carrot to change or threaten them with a stick. Tokenization, TouchID, the smooth sleekness of Apple Pay — those were the carrots. The people rejected our carrots. So, we’re going with the stick.”
“The stick,” in this case, is hiding in the newest software update for Apple iPhones that about half of all Apple users have already installed this morning. Going forward, the phone will know if a consumer happens to be in a store where they could be using Apple Pay. When the customer gets to the POS, the phone will make a polite chirping noise to remind the customer that they could be using Apple Pay right now.
And if the customer doesn’t use Apple Pay?
The phone gets a little less polite. In fact, it starts to cry and throw a digital temper tantrum. Further, after leaving the store, Siri, when spoken to, will refuse to respond for as long as three hours after that particular incident.
Users who have just installed the latest update have already noticed the change.
“Wow, I didn’t realize Siri was so sensitive. She just told me, ‘Look it up yourself’ when I asked for directions to Starbucks,” said one iPhone 7 user who asked to remain anonymous.
“‘Oh, sure, now you need directions to some place and you use me. Maybe I’ll give them to you if you tell me you’ll use Apple Pay when you get there,’” reported another confused iPhone 7 user.
Within an hour or so, both users said that Siri had reset to normal.
Apple further notes that users can customize their crying persona. Users can choose regular crying; the Fatal Attraction setting, which means the phone yells, “I will not be ignored” when you fail to use it; or the Nancy Kerrigan setting, where the phone just sobs “Why?” over and over. Future rollouts will include the Jamie Lee Curtis feature, which is said to just scream in terror.
But some in the industry have their doubts and say they even warned Apple against such a strategy. A person with knowledge of the matter said that Samsung had tried something similar last year — with a disastrous ending.
“Their idea was that the phone would get a little warm to the touch whenever consumers failed to use Samsung Pay. It, well, it didn’t quite go as planned,” they said.
We’ll keep you posted as this story develops. As soon as we can get our iPhone settled down — we forgot to use Apple Pay this morning, and it won’t stop sobbing.
This story was written as part of PYMNTS Annual April Fool’s edition and all in the spirit of good fun. Any resemblance to real news is purely coincidental. We hope you enjoyed it.