The one thing they have that nobody else can do is the way that [Apple Pay] works at the system level rather than the app level. I can just can’t emphasize enough for anybody out there who hasn’t used Apple Pay yet because you don’t have an iPhone 6 or because you don’t shop at one of the places that supports it yet. I just can’t emphasize enough how — instead of feeling like a one step process, it almost feels like a zero step process. Because you don’t have to unlock your phone. You just take the phone, even if it’s not on, get it within an inch of that terminal, rest your thumb on the reader and that’s it. Nobody else can do that. A CurrentC app on the iPhone - you would have to unlock your phone, open the app, and go from there. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but compared to Apple Pay, it is a lot.
Gruber, on what makes Apple Pay unique, as quoted from the latest episode of The Talk Show.
For those who haven't tried it yet, it may be hard to understand why Apple Pay is not only a better experience than credit cards, but also other mobile payment options. But it is.
If consumers aren't convinced yet, I think the magic of Apple Pay will become more apparent when the Apple Watch is introduced. Forget the phone, just hold your wrist up to the terminal and...well, there there is no and, that's it.
And as NFC is increasingly baked into everyday transactions (mass transit, boarding passes, opening doors), it's going to become super obvious why Apple Pay has succeeded over dedicated payment apps like CurrentC and apps that we currently open before we then futz with our phones in front of scanners praying we catch the scanners at just the right angle.
Seriously, have you ever watched an Amtrak conductor on a moving train try to scan a boarding pass on an iPhone screen? It's not a pretty sight.