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The Small Business Owner's Guide to Apple Pay

apple pay

Apple Pay has significantly changed the way business owners and consumers interact with each other. The new digital payment format offers a simple way for consumers to transfer money to retailers, allowing them to pay for goods with the tap of their smartphones.

Since its unveiling in late October, many large corporations have started using it to accept payments from consumers. McDonald's, Walgreens and Whole Foods are among the various companies that now accept this form of payment. As the list of these businesses continues to grow, small business owners have begun to learn more about the app and whether it's worth the investment.

How do I get Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a free app that works with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. The App securely pulls credit and debit card information that has already been stored in the device, then digitally transfers payments from the consumer's bank. While the application is free, small business owners must purchase a small machine - an N.F.C. reader - capable of accepting the payments from the app. The New York Times reported that these machines can be purchased for about $250-$500, and they can be easily installed by the business. 

What are the benefits?

Similar to other payment methods, Apple Pay allows consumers to easily transfer money from their accounts to a company's. By turning the payment process digital, consumers no longer have to worry about carrying around cash or physical cards. 

Additionally, the payment process is entirely secure. Unlike swiping cards or handing cash, Apple Pay transfers money when the phone touches the N.F.C. reader at the business. Consumers don't need to press any buttons to ensure funds are transferred - the user's unique Touch ID, determined by the person's fingerprint touching the phone, ensures the payment is completely valid.

Are there any drawbacks?

As with most other new forms of technology, there will be a time period during which people will have to adopt this new method. Since the app is only compatible with Apple Watches and iPhone 6s, there is a small portion of the population that can even access this technology. The number of consumers who can use Apple Pay will increase as the company continues to release new devices, so small business owners looking to jump on the technological bandwagon early should consider integrating the app into their operations.

Is it safe?

Of course it is! 

Your consumers may be trepidatious about using their smartphones to pay for purchases, but Apple assures its early adopters that the process is completely secure. In fact, several experts have predicted that this form of payment may be more secure than traditional methods, and it could revolutionize how people pay for their goods in the future. Apple noted that unlike paying with credit or debit cards, the consumer's name and payment numbers are not shown when making transactions with Apple Pay - this information is kept in the Cloud. Additionally, if the user's smartphone or watch gets stolen, the information is not available to the new person, as it must be accessed with a fingerprint ID.

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