Used by over 35 per cent of US retailers and available at four million locations, Apple Pay is a popular payment system experiencing a rapid rise.
This trend looks set to continue in coming years as US merchants embrace the EMV liability shift, abandoning magnetic stripe card readers and making the move to the more secure chip, pin and contactless payments.
If you’re a merchant looking to cash in on the rise and rise of Apple Pay, here’s what you need to know.
How Apple Pay works
At its simplest Apple Pay is a digital wallet and mobile payment system. Consumers upload their card details to their iPhone, Apple Watch or other Apple device and are able to make easy payments at almost any payment terminal that accepts contactless payments.
The technology works using new field communication (NFC) enabling the iPhone or Apple device to communicate with a contactless card reader when held in close proximity. Users authorize their payment by placing their finger on TouchID.
Apple Pay is also available in a series of apps and websites using Safari.
For consumers, Apple Pay differs from other digital wallets due to the encryption and security technology used.
Rather than storing actual consumer credit card numbers and information, an image of the user’s credit or bank card is uploaded, then sent to the issuing bank or network for tokenization. In other words, the image is translated into a series of randomly selected numbers that are then sent back to the phone and stored in a secure chip.
This offers a benefit as the user’s personal information is not contained within their phone and cannot be cloned or used for fraudulent purposes. The further security measure of TouchID authorization makes it almost impossible for someone else to use the system even if they have the iPhone in their possession.
The benefits for retailers
There are two major outcomes for retailers and merchants offering Apple Pay as a payment option: security and convenience.
Apple Pay offers a swift and speedy checkout experience, ultimately cutting down time spent in the queue. It is considered faster than traditional card transactions, and more secure due to the tokenization and encryption of the consumer’s financial details.
Meanwhile, using Apple Pay incurs no additional fees for the merchant or consumer, with rates the same as those charged for any card present transaction when using a payment terminal, and charged at the card not present rate when made via an app or website.
For consumers, it offers the convenience of having all their bank and credit cards in one device that they carry with them anyway.
How to offer Apple Pay
The likelihood is merchants who already offer contactless payment are able to accept Apple Pay, as most NFC enabled payment terminals issued by either banks or third party suppliers have the capability of accepting Apple Pay.
If you are yet to establish your Point of Sale, ensure your payment terminal has contactless capability. From small chip card and contactless readers available from the likes of Square and Paypal Here, right through to bank-issued EFTPOS terminals, the bulk of new card readers have this technology built in. To be sure, you should contact your supplier for further advice on accepting Apple Pay.
Apple Pay is able to be fully integrated with an iPad Stand or POS tablet system, allowing for a more streamlined simpler way for retailers to manage the sales process.
Utilizing ApplePay is as simple as acquiring a mobile Point of Sale app from any number of providers, downloading it to your tablet, and ordering the associated chip or contactless card reader to accept Apple Pay and other contactless card payments.
The final word
As more and more retailers upgrade their payment terminals to reflect America’s EMV liability shift, greater numbers will have the ability to offer Apple Pay.
By ensuring they provide this service, merchants offer convenience and security to their clientele, while cutting down that critical time spent making and taking payments.