What Can Apple Pay do for 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 check all those boxes, but also, pretty soon, your customers will expect it. Here’s a primer on Apple Pay for small businesses:

The advantages of Apple Pay

Before you make a decision about accepting Apple Pay, let’s go over how it works. Apple Pay transactions are a type of contactless payment that’s enabled through a technology called near field communication, or NFC. NFC is what enables two devices — like a smartphone and a payments reader — to communicate with each other when they’re held close together.

Accept Apple Pay and chip cards everywhere.

Order the Square contactless and chip reader.

Right now, Apple Pay is available on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as the Apple Watch. If you have one of these devices and you want to start using Apple Pay, open Wallet and add the credit or debit card you have associated with your iTunes account by entering the security code. You can also add other cards by taking a photo of each one and entering the other info required by the app. Once your cards are verified, you’re good to go. Learn more about how to set up Apple Pay on your device so you can start paying with it to see how it all works.

Why take Apple Pay?

Mobile payments are processed faster than magnetic-stripe cards and chip card payments, meaning that they can make a serious dent in wait times at the register (and, as a result, customer satisfaction). More importantly, these types of transactions are very secure. Contactless transactions like Apple Pay require fingerprint verification, plus the data associated with cards stored in mobile wallets is encrypted and constantly changing, which makes fraud more difficult.

Is it Secure?

It’s natural to question the safety of loading your credit card and bank information on a device, but you shouldn’t worry about it. Here’s why: In order to authenticate a payment through your phone, you have to hold your finger on the Touch ID button to have your print scanned and verified. The entire transaction is complete in just a few seconds.

Beyond fingerprints, the data associated with your cards is encrypted and always changing (through a process called tokenization), so even if your phone is stolen, thieves wouldn’t be able to do anything with the information. That makes the technology more secure than magnetic-stripe cards, or even cash for that matter.

How start taking Apple Pay:

Accepting Apple Pay is easy. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Get a new NFC-enabled payment terminal to accept contactless payments like Apple Pay. The Square contactless and chip reader is just $49.

  2. Unbox and charge the reader. Plug in the USB cable that comes with the device and connect it to a power source.

  3. Set it up. The Square contactless and chip reader connects to your device wirelessly as long as you have a compatible iOS or Android device. It also works with Square Stand — just plug it into the hardware hub. If you’re setting it up with Bluetooth, make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your mobile device. Then open the Square app and connect the reader.

  4. Start accepting payments. When the reader is ready, one green light will appear. Have customers hold their mobile device over the reader until four green lights appear and a chime sounds. When you see the check mark on your screen, the transaction is complete.

How to let buyers know you accept Apple Pay

Once you’re ready to accept Apple Pay, let your customers know about it! Post on your social media accounts that you’re all set for mobile payments, and send a message using 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 give shoppers an incentive to use Apple Pay, like a discount when they buy something in the next week and mention the email. And don’t forget about posting stickers in the window to let customers know you accept Apple Pay. It’s a pretty low-tech way to get the message out, but it’s surprisingly effective.

Apple Pay online?

Apple Pay isn’t just accepted in stores — now you can use it within certain apps. There’s obviously no NFC reader involved in these transactions, so instead you just place your finger on the Touch ID button. So far, you can use Apple Pay within the apps of businesses like Uber, Target, Airbnb, and Sephora.