Patent Hints at Coupons and Loyalty for Apple Pay; JetBlue Takes it to the Skies (Feb. 18, 2015)
Apple Inc. has filed a patent application indicating plans to add loyalty features to Apple Pay, introducing the option to redeem coupons and tickets via NFC, according to a new report. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published the application this week, describing a new power-save feature enabling users to switch off the NFC wallet mode when not in use, according to the Website PatentlyApple.com. Included in the report is the patent application’s illustration displaying three choices of credentials Apple Pay users may enable for payment when the NFC mode is on: Credit, Coupon and Metro Card, which could refer to transit ticketing or other types of loyalty programs, the report suggests. The move is significant, because while Apple Pay scores high in convenience, its critics have noted its lack of a loyalty element could hurt its ability to drive repeat usage and compete with other mobile payment apps where loyalty is central.
Separately, JetBlue this week said it will be the first major U.S. airline to accept Apple Pay at 30,000 feet. Beginning this month, passengers on select JetBlue flights from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco will be able to pay via Apple Pay for in-flight purchases of food, drinks, entertainment amenities and upgraded seat assignments. JetBlue will expand Apple Pay to other flights next month, reaching national rollout by June, the company said. Crew members will use iPad mini devices with NFC-enabled cases to accept traditional credit cards or Apple Pay for customers with the iPhone 6—and soon—the Apple Watch. Later this year JetBlue customers will be able to make Apple Pay purchases within the airline’s mobile iOS app, the company said.
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