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Universal Pay on the Universal Orlando App

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Jan 21, 2008
24,486
52,907
Orlando, FL
Universal Orlando has introduced Universal Pay - a new feature that allows contactless payments for guests while in the parks with the use of their smartphone.

 
I'm honestly surprised it took this long for this feature to be implemented considering contactless payment has been something pushed all around the world since the pandemic began and they've been reopened for 9 months now.
 
Besides being able to set a limit, I don’t see the point of it when you have Apple Pay and Google Pay available on the same devices and is less effort to use.
If you're Universal, you do. Google and Apple Pay both get a taste of the purchase. Why not wet your own beak with that instead
 
Apple will take their cut from Mastercard, Visa, Amex or whoever the card issuer is, not Universal.
My point exactly. By being their own payment processor, they can take the piece that Apple/Google were getting.

In other words, I buy a product that costs 100 dollars. If Visa's cut is 4 dollars, for the sake of argument, and Apple/Google Pay's cut of that is 50 cents say, then that cut goes to Universal on top of whatever they made off the sale, creating another stream of revenue, however small, for Uni.
 
My point exactly. By being their own payment processor, they can take the piece that Apple/Google were getting.

In other words, I buy a product that costs 100 dollars. If Visa's cut is 4 dollars, for the sake of argument, and Apple/Google Pay's cut of that is 50 cents say, then that cut goes to Universal on top of whatever they made off the sale, creating another stream of revenue, however small, for Uni.

That’s not how it works.

Universal aren’t suddenly getting a discount on their merchant rates by using their own app as they still have to give the card provider the same cut of the sale regardless of how it’s paid.
 
That’s not how it works.

Universal aren’t suddenly getting a discount on their merchant rates by using their own app as they still have to give the card provider the same cut of the sale regardless of how it’s paid.
This is correct, except that the transaction fee on Apple Pay is lower than most methods like swipe/no signature because of its security.

Zero chance Universal is getting a lower per transaction fee for this - it’s just a veneer over the existing in-app payment. Only way to actually come out ahead is to aggregate purchases and hit the card once, like charging to a folio and settling payment at the end.
 
[
This is correct, except that the transaction fee on Apple Pay is lower than most methods like swipe/no signature because of its security.

Zero chance Universal is getting a lower per transaction fee for this - it’s just a veneer over the existing in-app payment. Only way to actually come out ahead is to aggregate purchases and hit the card once, like charging to a folio and settling payment at the end.
Yup, I stand corrected. Well, if that's not the reason, I wonder what is. Doesn't seem like Uni cares as much about a "bubble" as Disney does, so what's their angle, I wonder.
 
[
Yup, I stand corrected. Well, if that's not the reason, I wonder what is. Doesn't seem like Uni cares as much about a "bubble" as Disney does, so what's their angle, I wonder.
I would say most people generally don't have their credit cards set up with Universal's app and they then decide not to set it up when they go to Volcano Bay, rmeaning the main purpose of Tapu Tapu's (from Universal's POV) is going mostly unused. If they can get more people to put their credit card into the app at the beginning of a vacation and use it throughout, then when they go to VB, the card will already be in the app and they'll be able to use it easily instead of having to be bothered to set it up upon arrival and ultimately just deciding not to.
 
I would say most people generally don't have their credit cards set up with Universal's app and they then decide not to set it up when they go to Volcano Bay, rmeaning the main purpose of Tapu Tapu's (from Universal's POV) is going mostly unused. If they can get more people to put their credit card into the app at the beginning of a vacation and use it throughout, then when they go to VB, the card will already be in the app and they'll be able to use it easily instead of having to be bothered to set it up upon arrival and ultimately just deciding not to.

I can see parents using this system since it allows a limit. Put 20 bucks on each account of your kids ticket and if they're old enough, they can go off and have a fun day while being able to get fed.

I'd love Universal to introduce a magic band type system, as much crap as it gets, I love it. You could even introduce a NFC type system into a smart watch fairly easy. Use itas your park ticket, Express pass, hotel room key and credit card.
 
I can see parents using this system since it allows a limit. Put 20 bucks on each account of your kids ticket and if they're old enough, they can go off and have a fun day while being able to get fed.

I'd love Universal to introduce a magic band type system, as much crap as it gets, I love it. You could even introduce a NFC type system into a smart watch fairly easy. Use itas your park ticket, Express pass, hotel room key and credit card.
Universal would be best served doing a MB type system, but all done through smart phones as Disney has transitioned to. You no longer even get free Magic Bands upon arrival at the hotel anymore, they highly encourage you to use the app for everything (room key, mobile dining, diner reservations, booking park passes or fast passes normally, etc). Universal doesn't need the actual Magic Bands, but if they built up the app more, they could build a service that would presumably allow for them to hold you park ticket, express pass and hotel room key on the app at the very least, while pushing mobile ordering as well.

It would be a much scaled down version of what Disney is doing, but I think most would agree that's probably not a bad thing. Keep the good parts, but get rid of all the unnecessary planning aspects.
 
Universal would be best served doing a MB type system, but all done through smart phones as Disney has transitioned to. You no longer even get free Magic Bands upon arrival at the hotel anymore, they highly encourage you to use the app for everything (room key, mobile dining, diner reservations, booking park passes or fast passes normally, etc). Universal doesn't need the actual Magic Bands, but if they built up the app more, they could build a service that would presumably allow for them to hold you park ticket, express pass and hotel room key on the app at the very least, while pushing mobile ordering as well.

It would be a much scaled down version of what Disney is doing, but I think most would agree that's probably not a bad thing. Keep the good parts, but get ride of all the unnecessary planning aspects.

It does seem inevitable that this is going to happen at some point. Covid might have pushed it a little and it would probably be foolish to not include the infrastructure into Epic Universe and then retrofit the system in the current resort.
 
With universal having rides that you can't take your phone on, they are more in need of a MB setup. Make it so you can just leave your phone in your room or a locker all day.
 
With universal having rides that you can't take your phone on, they are more in need of a MB setup. Make it so you can just leave your phone in your room or a locker all day.
I'd like them to steer away from a physical dongle like a MB for the most part, now that all but the cheapest smartphones have NFC.
 
Universal Orlando has introduced Universal Pay - a new feature that allows contactless payments for guests while in the parks with the use of their smartphone.

Tethering my card to my Tapu Tapu is magical at VB

I also forget how much money I'm spending which is magical to Universal

I do enjoy this idea
 
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