Finally Citi got me my Executive AAdvantage card yesterday after losing the first one. A quick activation of the card and I went to add it to my Android Pay app. After adding all of my information, the app contacted Citi servers and was rejected. I have seen this sort of thing from Citi in the past where you had to explicitly tell Citi to activate Android Pay or Google Wallet. Their answer was very unexpected.
On the phone, a Citi representative informed me that this had nothing to do with Citi, but American Airlines does not allow Android Pay to use their cards.... WHAT? WHY?
Sometimes I feel as though we live in a world of companies run by people completely confused by technology. Whether American Airlines knows this or not, Android Pay and Apple Pay are the next step in payment technologies. Apps like Apple Pay and Android Pay are easily updated by Apple and Google respectively. That means security flaws can be patched quickly and pushed to customers. Physical cards are prone to attacks that cannot be quickly corrected. We've already seen work arounds for chip cards, meaning they are already vulnerable right off the bat.
Once again, technology is dragging old companies kicking and screaming into the next generation. Perpetually afraid of the next evolution of technology, companies seem to always put up a fight until they finally give in.... then they realize the new way of doing things brings more revenue and less fraud. We've seen it happen with the move from physical movies to digital, now I see this happening again in the payment arena.
Chase has been a prime example, these companies attempt to make their own payment system, completely ignoring that people do not want to use 25 payment apps for their cards. We want a single app that has everything in it. Verizon already attempted to create ISIS the payment system, renamed after the rise of the terrorist group, the payment system is dead now, having never gained any traction in the market. Chase has their own payment system which I'll predict now will die a quiet death in the next few years.
Customers want one app, not a massive catalog of payment apps. Android Pay and Apple Pay offer that, we just need companies to support these systems.