Payment processing companies have identified this need and have developed a wide range of services to benefit businesses of every size. This includes widely adopted solutions such as contactless terminals, and more revolutionary payment technology like Apple Pay. With Apple Pay’s recent UK release, we thought this would be a great time to explore and discuss how contactless payment, and specifically Apple Pay has the ability to change the business world. Never before has buying goods and services from SMEs and big brands been easier or more secure. This new technology is revolutionary for consumers and businesses, but how will it affect you and your business?
According to data published by The UK Cards Association, spending on contactless cards in the UK has more than trebled over the last year to reach a record £2.32 billion in 2014.
Contactless payment terminals are already well-established in the UK. This has dramatically improved transaction times by allowing shoppers to simply ‘tap and pay’ for their purchases, without the need for entering a pin number, signing a receipt or having to count cash. Contactless payments are popular with shoppers because they make the payment process quicker and with the spend threshold increasing from £20 to £30 in October this could further drive consumer take-up and usage. Research also shows that contactless payments encourages customers to make impulse buys.
The rise of contactless in the UK may have also helped contribute to figures showing that consumers prefer paying by card rather than cash. Additionally, research suggests that almost half of UK customers want to use their mobile to pay, and with Apple Pay recently launching in the UK, British shoppers will now be able to use Apple Pay at any contactless terminal.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the launch of eagerly anticipated Apple Pay, but is it all it’s cracked up to be? We think so!
How does Apple Pay work?
Anyone that owns an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, or an Apple Watch connected to an older iPhone will now have the option of paying for their purchases in a physical store, or through apps and websites without the need for cards or cash. Purchases up to £20 can be made on most contactless terminals. However, if you want your customers to have the option to purchase higher cost items, then you will be required to do some more admin. In essence, there isn’t any difference between the process of using a phone or a card to pay with a contactless terminal. Finding your card is probably just as easy as finding your phone in your pocket or bag, however Apple Pay makes your purchases much more secure. Consumers have previously had concerns regarding contactless card payments, due to lack of security. If a card is lost or stolen, it is possible for payments of up to £20 to be made until the card is reported. In contrast, Apple Pay is much more secure as a fingerprint is needed to make payment. Apple Pay also makes it easy to make payments on selected websites, and apps without having to enter long card numbers or security codes.
Some of the benefits...
The prospect of paying so quickly and easily is promising for small businesses. Apple Pay might not change the way businesses work all together, but it will definitely keep your business at the forefront of these popular modern payment methods. It is important that SME’s accept and adapt to the way payment methods are changing in order to survive. Research shows that almost half of UK customers want to use their mobile to pay. Business owners must be aware of this shift in shopping habits and make the required changes.
The main area where businesses are going to benefit from making contactless payment available is customer service. Consumers crave simplicity and ease, so the easier it is for someone to pay, this will result in an improved customer experience and reduction in queuing times.
Additionally, small businesses have the capability to adopt new technology more quickly and seamlessly than larger companies. It’s more important now than ever to support multiple payment options within your business. If you already have a contactless POS terminal, chances are that it is already be equipped with the technology that you need to accept Apple Pay.
The Epos Now system will accept Apple Pay payments through Verifone and Paymentsense if you have a contactless terminal.
Please call 0800 2 945 945 if you have any questions!