How to Start Accepting Apple Pay at Your Business

How to Start Accepting Apple Pay at Your Business
With so many new and emerging ways for your customers to pay for goods and services, it’s important to stay on top of the newest technology like Apple Pay. Here's how to start.
by Square May 18, 2024 — 4 min read
How to Start Accepting Apple Pay at Your Business

When you’re a small business owner, it’s key that your payment systems fit three criteria: quick, simple and secure. That’s why technology like Apple Pay needs to be on your radar. Not only does it tick all those boxes, but pretty soon, your customers will expect it: Square 2024 Future of Commerce data found that customer use of mobile payments increased by 5% from 2022 to 2023, with the highest usage among Gen Z and millennial consumers.

The next step? Understanding how to accept Apple Pay once customers are ready to buy. Here’s what you need to know about accepting Apple Pay at your business.

Why should I accept Apple Pay or other types of mobile payments?

The two key reasons you should be accepting Apple Pay are speed and security.

Mobile payment systems like Apple Pay are super-fast to process because your customers don’t need to hand over a card or even remove their wallet – the payment is made directly from their smartphone (or Apple Watch), which they probably have in their hand already. This speed is important, particularly for businesses that experience a lunchtime rush or have regular morning coffee queues out the door. If the line isn’t moving fast enough, customers might opt to go elsewhere. The faster you can accept payments, the more money you make for your business and the happier your customers are.

Is Apple Pay free for merchants?

Apple Pay is free for consumers but comes with a few costs for merchants. Square charges a processing fee of 1.6% for contactless payments, in addition to any hardware costs the merchant may incur. If you are using a Square Terminal, Square Reader for contactless and chip + PIN, or accepting payments through a Square Online site, you can accept Apple Pay.

How does Apple Pay work?

Apple Pay is Apple’s mobile wallet. In shops, Apple Pay allows consumers to check out and pay by holding their device over a payments reader that can accept Apple Pay. In apps, Apple Pay allows consumers to trigger a payment with just a tap on their device. On a website, consumers can click the Buy with Apple Pay button on the checkout page and then confirm the payment with a tap/click on their device or the button on their Apple Watch.

Apple Pay utilises NFC (near-field communication), which enables two devices to communicate wirelessly when they’re close together. Increasingly, NFC is being used to power contactless payments like Apple Pay.

Apple Pay uses a technology called tokenisation to safeguard bank details. After you take a picture of your credit or debit card and load it into your iPhone, Apple sends the details to your card’s issuing bank or network. During a transaction, NFC transfers a token from your device to the payments processor, securely and quickly. It’s as easy as that.

Is Apple Pay secure?

It’s natural to question the safety of loading credit and debit card and bank information on a device, but rest assured, it’s very secure. Here’s why: In order to authenticate a payment through a consumer’s device, they have to hold their finger on the Touch ID button to have their print scanned and verified, or use Face ID to unlock their device and open Apple Pay.

Beyond fingerprints, the data associated with cards is encrypted and always changing, so even if a phone is stolen, thieves wouldn’t be able to do anything with the information. That makes the technology more secure than swipe cards, or even cash, for that matter.

What hardware do I need to accept Apple Pay?

Most NFC-enabled terminals (like Square Reader for contactless and chip + PIN) accept Apple Pay. Customers just hold their Apple device over the terminal and complete the transaction with their Touch ID or Face ID. Square’s reader and terminal connect with Square Stand, and you can also use it for transactions outside your shop, like at events or outdoor markets. Apple Pay for businesses is becoming increasingly more common.

Apple Pay isn’t just accepted in shops – it can also be used within certain apps and websites. There’s obviously no NFC reader involved in these transactions, so consumers will use Touch or Face ID to easily complete their purchase.

How do I accept Apple Pay at my business?

Accepting Apple Pay at your business is easy. Here are some best practices for setting up your Square Reader and Apple Pay marketing kit:

  1. Get a new NFC-enabled payment terminal that accepts contactless payments like Apple Pay. Square Reader for contactless and chip + PIN, Square StandSquare Terminal and Square Register all accept contactless payments.
  2. Set up your new reader. Square Reader for contactless and chip + PIN connects to your device wirelessly as long as you have a compatible iOS device. If you’re setting it up with Bluetooth LE (Low Energy), make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your mobile device. Then open the Square app and connect the reader. Make sure the reader is facing your customers and is within their reach so they can make Apple Pay payments easily.
  3. To accept payments, have customers hold their iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch near the reader until four green lights appear and a chime sounds. When you see the tick mark on your screen, the transaction is complete.

You can also accept Apple Pay on your website. Square Payment Links, a hosted checkout and online payment option that allows consumers to easily pay with a single link, accepts Web Apple Pay. In addition, Square eCommerce API supports Web Apple Pay and makes it easy for developers who are building their own checkout flow to include an option for Apple Pay at checkout.

Finally, you can also take contactless payments from contactless cards, Apple Pay and other digital wallets in person with just your iPhone using Tap to Pay on iPhone.

How should I let customers know I’m accepting Apple Pay?

Once your business is ready to accept Apple Pay, let your customers know about it. Your new Square Reader comes with a sticker in the box. Just place it in your window or near your point-of-sale terminal to let customers know you’re one of the most innovative businesses in your neighbourhood. If you misplace your sticker, don’t stress – you can always order another one by logging in to Square Dashboard. (Apple offers free Apple Pay decals on its website too.)

To make sure you reach people who haven’t been in your shop lately, post on your social media accounts that you’re all set for mobile payments. Maybe post a picture of your new Square Reader for contactless and chip + PIN to show your most tech-savvy customers that you’re ready for mobile payments.

Or, use Square’s email marketing software to inform your regular customers of the update (while you’re at it, it’s a good opportunity to let them know about new items or services). You can also incentivise shoppers who use Apple Pay at your business when they buy something in the next week – be sure to mention it in the email.

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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