What Small Business Need to Know About Apple Pay

If you’re a small business owner, you’ve likely heard recent buzz about Apple Pay. In fact, over 35,000 stores have already integrated Apple Pay capabilities into their POS systems, according to the Smart Card Alliance.

Thus, you may be feeling pressure to follow suit of bigger corporations and offer the new payment option in your store. Here’s what you need to know about integrating to Apple Pay into a small business:

How Does it Work?

Apply Pay utilizes near-field communication (NFC) technology to scan a mobile device (in this case, the iPhone 6 or Apple Watch), which is just a fancy way of saying that the phone doesn’t need to actually touch the POS terminal to make a transaction. The NFC chip inside the iPhone connects with the contactless reader, and the phone vibrates to notify that the transaction was successful.

So, your POS system needs to have contactless reading capabilities in order to accept mobile payments. How to integrate a contactless reader depends on your store’s current POS infrastructure, so it’s best to check with your POS provider on the best method. All you need is the reader itself— it’s up to individual banks to decide whether they want to allow mobile payment options on POS systems.

NCR providers such as MainSpring POS have already expressed their excitement to help any NCR customers integrate the feature on their current systems, both through standard POS systems and other mobile channels via mobile applications.

Is It Safe?

Yes— although it’s hard to answer this one definitively. All card information is encrypted into a “token” system created by Apple, thus preventing your card’s data from being stored on your phone, Apple’s servers, or participating stores. Because of this, many believe that the chances of massive data breaches will be largely reduced. Some, however, fear that hackers will only evolve with the technology to continue to find ways to breach into data systems.

Do You Need It?

Consider your customer demographic. Is it made up of an older generation who likely won’t be willing to make the shift to mobile payments? If so, Apple Pay may not be worth pursuing. If you think even a third of your customers will utilize the feature, however, it’s something worth considering.