From December 24th, the Walt Disney World, based in Orlando, will start accepting Apple Pay for purchase of tickets, merchandise and other items. Post Apple Pay’s launch, Disney was listed as one of the initial partners of the mobile payments service. Since then it was expected that all of Disney’s retail locations would eventually accept Apple Pay. Disney is already running the MyMagic+ program for Walt Disney World, as part of which efforts are driven towards adopting contactless payments.
Under the MyMagic+ program, visitors to the theme park can use wearable, touch-sensitive MagicBands and cards for accessing various areas and for payments as well. Disney is now expanding the concept of contactless payments not just to Apple Pay but other systems as well such as Google Wallet and contactless RFID credit cards. The areas of the theme park which can readily accept Apple Pay will be highlighted with an EMVCo symbol.
Walt Disney World is a highly popular vacation destination in the world, attracting more than 50 million visitors each year. Disney's theme parks generated $14.1 billion in revenue for the company back in 2013. Considering the volume of transactions that these parks are processing each year, they can certainly be top merchants for Apple Pay in near future.
With Apple Pay still to witness geographic expansion in other countries, Disney’s theme parks could be the ideal platform. With these parks spread around the world and attracting millions of visitors, this is an opportunity for Apple to promote its mobile payments service to global consumers.
Apple is already setting up offices outside US for Apple Pay expansion. The company has also started hiring for the same. Apple Pay is indeed getting considerable traction as compared to its competitors. Here are some highlights:
- As per an ITG research report, Apple Pay was responsible for 1% of digital payment dollars in the month of November.
- McDonalds’ cited that Apple Pay accounted for 50% of its NFC based transactions in November.
- Apple Pay now supports the cards that represent 90% of credit card purchase volume in US.
- Whole Foods cited that it has processed more than 150,000 Apple Pay transactions so far.