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Will the Apple Watch launch make waves in mobile payment?

The Apple Watch is gearing up for its global launch on Friday (24 April) and has definitely generated its fair share of column inches over the last few months.

Helped by celebrity endorsements from the likes of Beyonce, analysts have estimated pre-order numbers to be around 2.3 million units and some people have even gone so far as to suggest the Apple Watch will be the Cupertino firm's most profitable gadget ever.

While there have been other attempts into the wearable markets by Pebble and Android, it is Apple that is predicted to set the benchmark for measuring the success of the technology, as it has with many of its previous product ranges.

Dan Wagner, CEO and Founder of Powa Technologies comments: “The launch of Apple Watch marks the first time consumers will have access to a product that combines two of the fastest growing technologies in recent years – wearable technology and mobile payments. To see Apple, one of the biggest companies in the world, betting on such a combination shows the increasing willingness of consumers to adopt innovative and convenient methods of payments.

“The Apple Watch is a landmark in the development of Apple Pay, giving millions of iPhone 5 and 5S users access to Apple’s mobile payments platform, alongside the iPhone 6 and 6S models which feature it as a standard. However, it will not solve Apple Pay’s main problem, which is retailer adoption. The vast majority of American retailers still do not accept Apple Pay due to its reliance on NFC technology.

"Research has found that about 40 per cent of shoppers are willing to use wearables to make in-store payments, so the millions of Apple Watches expected to be sold around the world may well help convince retailers of the value.

"However, mobile payments are still not seen as the ‘killer feature’ that will trigger massive sales of wearable technology: only 12.2 per cent of smartphone users rate mobile payments as the main reason to invest in a wearable device.

"Despite the buzz and sales predictions, smart watches are still seen as a desirable extra rather than a must-have item, and as such it will be some time before we see a significant impact on retail strategy."