The big banks may not like it, but Australians lead the charge when it comes to using Apple Pay, with the tech giant noting Aussies make more transactions per month via Apple Pay than any other country in the world.
For merchants, this makes accepting Apple Pay a requirement, not a luxury, in a world where the speed and convenience of contactless transactions is rapidly replacing cash.
Here’s a guide to accepting Apple Pay and how the technology works.
What is Apple Pay?
First launched in Australia in 2015, Apple Pay is a mobile payment system and digital wallet.
Users simply upload their eligible bank and credit card information into Apple Pay, and it allows them to make financial transactions using only their iPhone and a merchant’s contactless card reader.
The principle works using near field communication (NFC), enabling the iPhone, Apple Watch or other Apple device to communicate with the card reader in a similar manner to PayWave or Tap-n-Go.
For consumers, Apple Pay differs from other digital wallets because actual credit card details are not stored within the phone. Instead, users take an image of their bank or credit card, upload it, and the details are then sent to the relevant bank or network, where they are secured using tokenisation.
This process means account details are replaced with a series of randomly selected numbers which are transferred back and stored within a secure chip within the phone. In effect this adds a layer of security to the process to ensure a user’s account details cannot be cloned.
In addition, transactions require further authorisation of a fingerprint ID when making a purchase.
Apple Pay is also available as a payment method in a host of apps and websites when using Safari.
How to accept Apple Pay
Chances are, if you already have a contactless card reader, you can accept Apple Pay, as most NFC enabled payment terminals issued by either banks or third party suppliers have the capability of accepting Apple Pay.
But if you are yet to set up your Point of Sale, here’s what you will require.
Contactless card reader - As mentioned, most NFC payment terminals have the ability to accept Apple Pay. This includes small chip card and contactless readers from the likes of Square and Paypal Here, right through to bank-issued EFTPOS terminals. You should contact your supplier for further advice on accepting Apple Pay.
Tablet and stand - 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. Utilising Apple Pay is as simple as acquiring a mobile Point of Sale app, downloading it to your tablet, and ordering the associated chip or contactless card reader to accept Apple Pay and other contactless card payments.
Why accept Apple Pay?
Due to its security and convenience, Apple Pay is a popular payment method for consumers. It offers the convenience of having all their eligible bank and credit cards in the one handy “virtual wallet” that they carry with them every day.
For merchants, 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 tokenisation and encryption of the consumer’s financial details.
In terms of cost, Apple Pay transactions command the same cost as other card present payments. It is simply considered technology that bridges a gap, but operates in the same way as the cards contained within the Wallet app.
Retailers who do not currently have a contactless card payment system can contact their payment provider and request a terminal to be installed. For app-based purchases, Apple Pay payments will be charged as card-not-present transactions.
The final word
Simple for merchants to offer and even easier for consumers to use, Apple Pay is emerging as one of the most widely used payment methods available. In May this year, Fortune noted the number of Apple Pay transactions in the latest quarter rose 450% from the same period a year ago globally.
For business, this makes offering Apple Pay as a payment option a necessity in today’s increasingly convenient and speed-driven world.