To be forward-thinking, banks must embrace Apple Pay

According to reports, Massachusetts banks are rushing to embrace the new Apple Pay electronic payment system – which securely stores debit and credit information on customers’ iPhones, allowing users to make payments at participating merchants – to pull in tech-savvy customers and not get left behind in a world of rapid advances.

Commenting on the enthusiasm of banks to use up-to-date systems, Paul Gentile, president of the Massachusetts Credit Union League Inc commented: “You frankly don’t want to be left behind…You want to be where your members are.” Ed O’Brien, a director at Mercator Advisory Group, a Maynard research firm agreed. “Banks are not wanting to miss the boat on this,” he said. “I think banks, and even small banks, by 2016 need to have something.”

About 40 banks and credit unions have signed on to Apple Pay since it was rolled out in September. Another 500-plus financial institutions are preparing to do so, according to Visa. Mastercard said it has hundreds of banks awaiting approval, and that the list is growing.

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