Apple Pay is a fast, easy, secure mobile payment method that's growing more popular with both consumers and businesses. If you're a small business that's interested in accepting Apple Pay, here's what you need to know about Apple Pay's benefits and costs, as well as how it works for your business and how to start accepting Apple Pay.
What is Apple Pay?
Apple Pay is a digital wallet available to Apple device users on their iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. Users can connect their Apple Pay wallets to bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards and even gift cards.
When users want to buy something from a merchant that accepts Apple Pay, they open the Apple Pay app on their device and hold it next to the near-field communication (NFC) area on the merchant's card reader. Payment is complete when four green lights appear and a chime sounds.
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A business can also set up its website to accept Apple Pay as a payment form. Buyers click the Pay With Apple Pay button on the checkout page and then confirm the purchase on their Apple device.
Once payment is made, Apple Pay funnels the funds from the buyer's linked payment source to the merchant's account.
Why should my business accept Apple Pay?
Apple Pay has many upsides for both buyers and merchants. Here's a look at some of the top reasons a business should consider accepting Apple Pay.
1. Apple Pay is widely used.
Since it uses NFC technology, Apple Pay is a contactless payment method. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more consumers are opting for contactless payments. In fact, in the United States, proximity mobile payment users are expected to grow from 92.3 million in 2020 to 125 million by 2025.
Apple Pay is the top mobile payment method in the U.S., with almost 44 million users, or around half of all contactless mobile payments. This means there's a vast market of people out there who can (and often prefer to) use Apple Pay to make purchases. Currently, more than 85% of U.S. retailers accept Apple Pay, so not accepting it puts your business at a competitive disadvantage.
2. Apple Pay is fast.
Because the payment goes through with just a tap, mobile contactless payments are the fastest way to pay. If you have a business where customers line up to pay, shortening the purchase process can mean a line that moves faster. Customer satisfaction improves with shorter waits, and fewer customers will abandon the line without making a purchase.
3. Apple Pay is secure.
Apple Pay transactions are very secure because the card data is tokenized, encrypted and always changing, so it's extremely difficult for criminals to steal customer card data. When data is tokenized, the underlying data – in this case, the customer's credit card or bank account info – is replaced by a series of randomly generated numbers.
Every time someone makes a purchase with Apple Pay, the system generates a new token. This token is then interpreted and changed back into useful information after it gets to the payment processor.
In addition to its security features, Apple Pay requires users to verify themselves with FaceID, a fingerprint or a mobile device passcode. These measures aim to prevent unauthorized purchases made from lost or stolen Apple devices.
Apple Pay's security safeguards result in less fraud, fewer chargebacks and more consumer confidence in both your business and Apple Pay.
How does Apple Pay work for businesses?
To implement Apple Pay, your business must already accept credit cards. You'll need a credit card processor or facilitator to accept and process customer payments for online and in-person purchases made with Apple Pay. That processor or facilitator must also accept Apple Pay and enable Apple Pay on your account. For in-person payments, you'll need a card reader that accepts NFC payments.
When a customer makes a purchase from you with Apple Pay, the credit card processor or facilitator processes the transaction and deposits the money into your account, minus any fees.
How much does it cost to accept Apple Pay?
There is no cost to the buyer to use Apple Pay to make purchases. Your credit card processor or facilitator will, however, charge your business a fee for each Apple Pay transaction, just as it would for every credit card transaction. The transaction fee is a percentage of the purchase total plus a flat per-transaction amount.
Credit card processors don't charge any additional fees for Apple Pay transactions, so there are no additional costs related to accepting Apple Pay.
How can my business get started accepting Apple Pay?
If you already accept credit cards and have a credit card reader, look on the device for the NFC image; it looks like three bowed lines indicating a wireless signal. If your card reader has that image, you already have the proper hardware for accepting Apple Pay.
If your card reader accepts only magnetic stripe cards and chip cards, you'll need to replace it with one that also supports NFC payments. Card readers that support NFC will have the word "tap" in their description and cost between $49 and $79.
Contact your credit card processor or facilitator, or check its website, to see if the company supports Apple Pay. If it does – and you have the correct NFC-enabled hardware – your business can accept Apple Pay.
If you want to accept Apple Pay online and it's not already available on your account, ask your credit card facilitator or processor to enable Apple Pay. After it's been enabled, your web developer should be able to set up Apple Pay and add a Pay With Apple Pay button to your checkout page. Online customers who want to pay with Apple Pay will click that button instead of other checkout options to complete their purchase.
Credit card processors and facilitators that accept Apple Pay
Here's an overview of some popular credit card processors and facilitators that accept Apple Pay, along with their associated fees.
|Company||Apple Pay in-person transaction fee||Cost of NFC-enabled card reader|
|Square||2.6% + $0.10||$49|
|Stripe||2.7% + $0.05||$59|
|Processors (may also charge monthly fees)|
|Merchant One||0.29% to 1.55%||Free for new customers|
|Clover||2.6% + $0.10||$9.95 per month|
|ProMerchant||Interchange + 0.5% + $0.15||Free for new customers|
How do I let customers know we accept Apple Pay?
To reap the benefits of accepting Apple Pay, you'll have to let customers know it's a payment option.
Here are some popular and easy ways to show you accept Apple Pay:
1. Advertise your Apple Pay acceptance online.
If you have a website enabled for Apple Pay, your developer will place a Pay With Apple Pay button on your checkout page. You can also download the Apple Pay digital mark and put it on your website and printed materials.
2. Claim your business place with Apple.
Business owners can go to Apple's Places on Maps website and "claim" their business place. Once you do this, your business location will show up on Apple Maps; you can then add an Apple Pay icon to your Apple Maps listing and everywhere else your business shows up across all Apple devices.
3. Use Apple Pay signage and decals.
On its Apple Pay Merchant Supplies page, Apple offers resources to help retailers advertise their Apple Pay acceptance status, including decals and signage.
Order the Apple Pay glass and register decals kit to display the Apple Pay logo at your place of business on the front window and each cash register. The kit is free and includes:
- One glass decal
- Two register decals
- Six terminal decals
You can also order an Apple Pay Signage Kit that says, "Shop safer with Apple Pay." This kit is also free and includes:
- Three posters (7 x 11 inches)
- Five countertop postcards (4 x 6 inches)
- Two window cling sheets (3 x 3 inches and 4 x 4 inches)
- One employee reference card
- One decal sheet
4. Use your mobile app to mention Apple Pay.
If you have a mobile app for your business, add an in-app message sharing that you're now accepting Apple Pay and giving customers a button to set up Apple Pay on their devices.
Another mobile app tip: Update your App Store product page description, screenshots and previews to include Apple Pay.
Here are some other ways to let customers know you accept Apple Pay:
- Email customers to let them know you now accept Apple Pay.
- Announce that you accept Apple Pay via your social media accounts.
- Put a banner ad on your website announcing that you now accept Apple Pay.
- Make sure your brick-and-mortar employees are aware that you accept Apple Pay so they can tell customers.