Big Blue to Offer Apple Pay on the Web to IBM Commerce Clients

IBM says 12,000 online web storefronts will support Apple Pay to provide consumers with a more secure, private and faster way to make purchases.

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IBM announced that it will be one of the first to deliver the new Apple Pay on the Web to online businesses.

Apple Pay is Apple's digital wallet technology. At its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 13, Apple announced that with the new iOS 10, Apple Pay now can be used to make easy, secure and private purchases on participating Websites using Safari, in addition to paying in stores and within apps.

Apple Pay on the Web will be made available to IBM customers that use IBM's WebSphere Commerce or IBM Commerce on Cloud.

IBM's move bolsters the partnership Apple and IBM entered into in 2014 to deliver iOS applications on IBM's MobileFirst platform. It also further expands IBM's commitment to helping customers to create and deliver rich mobile and Web experiences to consumers. Apple Pay on the Web also enhances IBM's commerce portfolio, which includes exclusive cognitive technologies that help retailers learn, predict and guide customer engagement through every step of their brand experience.

IBM said with the new Apple Pay capability, consumers shopping on any of the 12,000 online storefronts powered by WebSphere Commerce clients no longer will have to manually enter their personal details, track down the right credit card and share specific payment information when checking out. With the new service they can complete purchases securely with one click, whether on their laptop, desktop or iPhone or iPad.

"Customer loyalty is everything and businesses must bring relevance, ease and privacy to every step in a transaction if they want to maintain it," said Harriet Green, general manager of Watson IoT, Commerce and Education at IBM, in a statement. "IBM Commerce solutions can help businesses deliver flawless customer experiences. By offering Apple Pay on the Web, we are making it even easier for consumers to complete purchases without having to waste time looking for credit cards or putting their most private information at risk."

IBM officials lauded the security and privacy afforded by Apple Pay. Apple Pay does not store a consumer's credit or debit card information on the device or on Apple servers. Instead, a unique device account number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on the device, IBM said. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security code.

Thus, with Apple Pay on the Web, users will not have to manually fill out lengthy account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information.

Apple Pay on the Web will allow for secure and private payments in Safari on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

"The support of Apple Pay for IBM Commerce creates additional options for making purchases via Apple mobile devices and Mac desktops and laptops," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "Exactly how popular it will be is hard to say that this point. IBM Commerce customers are obviously already engaged with the company, so extending those processes to Apple devices may not be a high priority."

That is especially likely for Mac-based Apple Pay services, given the relatively low profile that Apple's desktop and laptop products have in most businesses, King added.

"However, the popularity of iPhone and iPad solutions could help drive up demand for Apple Pay among a significant number of IBM Commerce customers," he said. "If that's the case, it will further validate the value of IBM and Apple's broader strategic partnership."