|Apple Pay for your business. But you'll need a NFC/contactless payment-capable reader which many window cleaners might find a little pricey.|
Should Small Businesses Start Offering Apple Pay? There are a few things retailers should consider before deciding whether to offer Apple Pay to their customers. The Apple Pay mobile payment system will be available in 220,000 retail locations nationwide, including at many large retailers including Macy’s, Walgreen and Toys “R” Us.
For small business owners, the rollout of such a hyped “digital wallet”—which can currently only be used by iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users—may present something of a conundrum: Many small merchants have been reluctant to adopt mobile payments due to the startup cost (which is generally $300 to $500 per reader, according to RetailWire). But Apple Pay is expected to up the ante when it comes to mobile payment adoption.
Should small and independent retailers rush to jump on board? Here are some things retailers should consider when deciding whether to offer Apple Pay:
Long-time Apple analyst Tim Bajarin predicts that about 30 million Americans will have an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus according to USA Today—meaning they will be able to use Apple Pay. Moreover, the Apple smart watch (Apple Watch) being introduced in early 2015 is expected to include near field communication (NFC) technology and be able to facilitate mobile payments.
Small businesses with NFC readers may already be equipped to accept Apple Pay. Businesses need a payment terminal supporting NFC in order to accept and process Apple Pay transactions. That means businesses that already offer mobile payments on another system may be able to start offering Apple Pay, too. By October 2015, all retailers will need to accept credit cards with EMV chips.
Many of the EMV chip readers include NFC readers—and many of those will likely be able to accept Apple Pay. It can bolster shoppers’ data security. Given the spate of high-profile data breaches in recent months, retailers both large and small are concerned about protecting customer data. Apple Pay will encrypt each transaction with a unique code that prevents shoppers’ personal information from being stolen as it’s transmitted through a retailer’s network, according to The Wall Street Journal.
How does it work? iPhone 5 or 6 users can sign up for Apple Pay and enter their credit card info, or take a photo of their card—with their camera. (Apple is seen as having a major head-start here, because it already has millions of payment cards on file thanks to its popular iTunes service.) The card data is encrypted on a chip embedded in the iPhone called the Secure Element. At participating stores, customers can then hold their iPhones in front of a near-field communication (NFC) reader and place their finger over a fingerprint sensor to confirm payment. An app on the phone will allow them to select Apple Pay as their payment method and use Apple's Touch ID to confirm it. (Watch a video of how the technology works.)
Apple Pay will also sync up with the new Apple Watch. Customers will be able to authorize payments by simply tapping their watch. For a small business, Apple Pay may become a game-changer as some businesses will likely consider adopting NFC technology that allows customers to use mobile payments. With so many large retailers already on board, it may become an issue of competitiveness; consumers may get used to being able to use their smartphone, tablet or smartwatch to pay for things—and expect that convenience from small businesses as well.
|Click picture for Apple Pay website.|