Apple Pay has been around since 2014, yet it seems as though businesses have been slow to adopt this payment method. After all, only 18% of consumers in the US were regularly using Apple Pay in 2015. You’re probably wondering, “Why should my business use Apple Pay?”
The answer is simple: Your customers want to use it. And if Forbes’ Gene Marks is anything to go by, what’s holding back widespread adoption isn’t consumers, it’s businesses. Consider that more than half of Millennials use their smartphone as a payment device, and 23% of Millennials use their mobile device to make a payment in a brick-and-mortar location at least once per week. Now consider the fact that the Centennial generation is a mobile-native generation.
Here are five reasons your business should accept Apple Pay as a payment option.
Convenience for the Customer
Convenience is obviously a priority for consumers, and they’re beginning to expect frictionless shopping experiences both online and off. Apple Pay customers don’t want to carry all of their credit, debit, and gift cards. Currently, the system doesn’t offer compatibility with store loyalty cards, it’s in the works so it can remain competitive with Android Pay. What’s more, Apple rolled out the payment system with 220,000 merchants already on board; now it features more than 2 million retail stores. The list of merchants includes everything from Panera Bread and Trader Joe’s to Sephora and Walt Disney World.
Apple Pay isn’t just for large establishments or chain retailers, and it shouldn’t be a deterrent to shopping local and small businesses. As we mentioned, adoption rates are low, and part of that is because consumers continue to carry cash and physical credit cards to shop at stores of their choice who don’t offer this payment method. Small businesses that offer Apple Pay will be enhancing the customer experience, not detracting from it. A key factor in accepting Apple Pay in-store is an NFC-capable, contactless POS device (configuration from the payment provider may be required).
Apple Pay doesn’t just offer convenience to customers. From the start, it’s been available for use inside apps on Apple mobile devices as well. A fantastic example is Starbucks’ popular app. Not only can you reload your Starbucks Card in-app, but you can use the app to add your Starbucks card to your Apple Pay Wallet. One of the newest developments is being able to use Apple Pay from Safari browsers. This won’t even be limited to mobile devices, although certain features will need to be activated for it to work.
Expedited Checkout Process
Assuming you’ve properly trained your employees and the customer knows how to use Apple Pay properly, it’s a faster checkout process than traditional and EMV credit cards. Take the New York Times experiment as an example: EMV chipped cards took between 8 and 10 seconds to process, while Apple Pay took between 3 and 5 seconds. (These purchases probably didn’t include any high-value buys, which can also require a signature at POS for EMV cards.) That might not sound like a lot, but bear in mind that 3 seconds is the amount of time people are willing to wait for a website to load on their mobile device. A few seconds is all it takes to make a huge difference in a customer’s experience.
Credit card fraud can be difficult to combat, especially with card-not-present transactions. Apple Pay offers significant security features to reasonably mitigate fraud across a number of levels. First, Apple Pay must be unlocked with the customer’s Touch ID (fingerprint). Second, the entire payment system relies on tokenization. A customer’s card information is never stored on the device, in Apple Pay servers, or iCloud; instead, only reference information is kept for the customer to identify which card they’re using, along with a Device Account Number assigned by the card issuer when the card is added to Apple Pay. During a transaction, the Device Account Number and a transaction-specific dynamic security code are sent to the POS terminal to be processed and approved by the issuer, so even the merchant device never handles a customer’s card data.
Attract New Customers
Some customers look for locations that offer Apple Pay explicitly, enough to warrant the creation of apps that can help them find such locations. As adoption increases, so does the likelihood of new customers finding you because you offer Apple Pay as an option. Plus, Apple Pay is already global, which means traveling customers will be looking for convenient ways to pay without worrying about exchanging currency.
These are just a few of the reasons why you should use Apple Pay as a payment option. Remember, you should already be upgrading your store’s payment equipment to be compliant with the EMV mandate that went into effect October 2015. This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a new system that will be capable of accepting Apple Pay without an additional investment.