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Guide to Accepting Apple Pay at Your Business editorial staff editorial staff

Find out why Apple Pay is important to small and medium-size businesses, and what your business needs to do to start accepting Apple Pay.

  • Apple Pay is a virtual method of paying for your purchases without the need to have a credit card present.
  • Apple Pay is very important to small and medium businesses for an array of reasons.
  • Apple Pay is considered to be a game-changer for businesses because it provides greater security, and it allows merchants to accept payments without incurring penalties for running card-not-present transactions.

Apple Pay may be the innovative technology for payment transactions that iTunes was for music purchases. Apple didn't invent the idea of embedding near-field communications (NFC), the basis for Apple Pay, in a mobile device. In fact, contactless payment services such as Orange Cash are already available in Europe, while in the U.S., the Google Wallet app has been available on both Android devices and iPhones since 2011. However, paying by phone is still not mainstream … yet.

What is Apple Pay?

For those who are yet unfamiliar, according to Pocket-lint, Apple Pay is a contactless method of payment technology that was designed for Apple devices. It was created as a method of eliminating physical wallets and replacing them with digital wallets that can be used via iPhones, Apple Watches, etc. To use Apple Pay, you need to find stores that have the Apple Pay symbol near their registers. From there, you can simply use your phone to pay for the purchase.

Is Apple Pay secure?

According to Barclay Card, Apple Pay is a secure method for paying for goods or services. This is largely due to the fact that credit cards are never stored on your device. Moreover, your credit card information is never shared by Apple Pay or sent with your payment.

Apple Pay gives every user a unique, encrypted device account number, which is stored and secured in an area on their iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. When you use Apple Pay, only your device account number is shared, not your actual payment information. And if someone manages to hack the encrypted number, they still cannot gain access to your credit card information. Furthermore, it can be difficult for people to gain access to one's device account number, because Apple Phones are typically secured using either a password chosen by the user and/or a fingerprint.

Apple Pay Features

Why is Apple Pay such a game-changer?

  • The promise of greater security with the iPhone's Touch ID fingerprint scanner and that Apple does not have access to users' purchasing information.

  • Apple Pay was able to negotiate a "card present" rate from Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, eliminating the penalty merchants pay for running credit or debit transactions without a card present.

  • Consumers are not charged to use the service.

  • Merchants aren't charged extra when accepting Apple Pay.

“The timing is right with customer behavior, the customer experience is right, and elements have come together around how the ecosystem is evolving for this to be a game-changer," said Gavin Michael, JPMorgan's digital chief.

Here's what you need to do to accept Apple Pay at your place of business.

Get a point-of-sale system with an Apple Pay reader

If you are about to buy a new POS system, then certainly now is the time to order a contactless transaction reader to go with it. Keep in mind that not all NFC-readers are capable of processing Apple Pay transactions. However, all EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa)-enabled readers are Apple-Pay compatible. 

Contact your POS vendor or credit card processor to determine available options. There are numerous vendors that specialize in offering stand-alone cashless transaction terminals. If you have multiple POS locations at your business, you might want to designate one that accepts Apple Pay so you can gauge consumer acceptance and add additional Apple Pay readers as needed to accommodate demand.

Promote that you support Apple Pay

The Apple brand is synonymous with being cool and trendy. Your brand could easily benefit from not only the association with Apple. Apple claims over 220,000 stores accept it. Promote the fact that you are one of these companies not only with the foresight to incorporate new technology, but offer customers a simpler and more secure way to purchase goods and services.

Educate your customers

Apple Pay transactions don't cost you anything. That alone is a reason to promote the use of Apple Pay with your customers. Put a blurb on your website about how easy Apple Pay is to use. When you see customers with an iPhone, ask if they'll use Apple Pay. Educate yourself about the benefits of Apple Pay to discuss them knowledgeably and persuasively with your customers.

Image Credit: Prostock-Studio / Getty Images editorial staff editorial staff Member
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