This month, Apple made several big announcements: A larger iPhone, a fancy new smart watch and perhaps most intriguing, a brand new way to pay for things. They call it Apple Pay.
Apple Pay isn’t typical business for the tech company best known for its iOS lineup of devices and community of developers who have created more than a billion apps. But if someone is going to shake up the business game when it comes to how we pay for things, it’s Apple.
So what do small business owners need to know? Here’s a quick rundown.
About Apple Pay
Apple Pay relies on near field communication (NFC) technology to let customers tap their iPhone or Apple Watch in front of a sensor to pay. Those customers will need to punch in a passcode or use a fingerprint ID to grant the payment before tapping their device on the sensor for security reasons, but that’s all it should require.
How can your business be ready for the bevy of iPhone 6 toting customers who want to use their new payment system come October? Companies like Stripe are already developing their services to account for Apple Pay transactions.
Off the bat, Apple is partnering with major banks Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and Chase, and Bank of America is on the way. Initial retailers include McDonalds, Whole Foods and Macy’s. But does it make sense for small business owners?
When Will Small Businesses Use Apple Pay?
Right now, that’s hard to say. Some experts say small business owners will likely wait and see — and rightly so — to see if it takes off.
It’s going to take at least a year to get more people using iPhones with NFC technology built in, but small business owners will also want to see Apple Pay become part of their accounting ecosystem. That means deep integration with their accounting software to eliminate any extra steps along the way.
Apple Pay does have its benefits and could be a huge win for small business owners.
Apple Pay Benefits
It allows for contactless payment, which is not only cool, but it speeds things up and adds another layer of customer service to your business. Of course, your business will need to buy a sensor to handle that, but that’s not a problem.
Secondly, Apple Pay is secure. Customers set up which credit card they want as their default card, which is setup using iCloud. The first layer of security is that those credit card numbers aren’t published anywhere and left anywhere, except on the back end of the consumer’s account. The customer’s device can then verify that payment using a fingerprint scan or by entering a pin.
Most importantly, Apple Pay can eliminate that weird divide of online shopping and in-store shopping. It’s time that small business owners tear down that wall and make buying things familiar. So many online retailers offer one-click shopping, why can’t we do that in stores? Once Apple Pay takes off, we can do that, and it could be pretty big.
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