3 Reasons Local Business Owners Should Embrace Apple Pay

Apr 14, 2015

It’s unusual to hear so much negative fuss about a new type of technology. It’s even stranger when that new technology involves a technology giant named Apple. While Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile payment platform, is still relatively new, there are already a list of doubters writing off the idea like it was a fad from the early 80s.

Apple Pay for local businesses

Issues With Apple Pay
Before having any discussion about the issues facing a new technology like Apple Pay, it’s important to remember Apple doesn’t fail at many things it endeavors to do. To begin, there are skeptics that are quick to point out Apple isn’t likely to succeed where other companies like PayPal and Google Wallet are failing. While that might sound like a reasonable assumption, it fails to take into account the ability of Apple to make inroads in areas where others dare not tread. Another reason for skepticism has to do with recent point-of-sale breaches at Target and Home Depot. Duly noted, but that might have more to do with the inherent security weaknesses related to magnetic strips on credit cards. Those issues are being address with EMV-compliant chip technology. Finally, there are plenty of merchants who simply lack the foresight to understand this is the future of consumer payments.

3 Reasons Local Business Owners Should Embrace Apple Pay
In a relatively short period of time, Apple Pay has signed an impressive list of major retailers that are already accepting Apple Pay through a near-field-communications (NFC) enabled point-of-sale system. Prime-time names include Toy R Us, Chevron, Walgreens and Subway with many more waiting in the wings. While it might take a few years to secure significant penetration, this is a technology that local merchants should be considering right now and here are three reasons why.

1. Gain a Competitive Edge – While local merchants tend to be concerned about the cost associated with putting in a point-of-sale system, the reality is the industry has become competitive enough for prices to start dropping. Given the inevitability of services like Apple Pay moving to the forefront, local merchants who are slow to embrace this technology face the risk of getting pushed to the sidelines by those who do embrace it. In a day and age where eCommerce is already straining the bottom line for many “mom and pop” operations, they can ill afford any further disadvantages.

2. Customer Demand – Once consumers get past the requisite uneasiness brought on by new technologies, especially those that involve the movement of money, they are sure to embrace NFC point-of-sale payment options. When that happens, there’s a good chance Apple Pay will lead the way. For consumers, it all boils down to convenience and security. The ability to make a purchase and initiate a wireless payment with an iPhone or Apple Watch in a manner of seconds is compelling. Consumers will no longer have to carry credit cards and/or check books, which helps eliminate the risk of criminals getting hold of their financial information.

3. Efficiencies – For store owners, there are certain time and cost savings that will come with payment options like Apple Pay. It eliminates the need to generate payment slips for signature. It also speeds up the checkout process because it only takes a few seconds for the system to recognize and accept the payment. For local merchants, these kinds of benefits often translate to lower overhead and higher profit margins. Within the first three days of offering the service, Apple Pay had more than 1,000,000 registered credit cards. Consumers are willing. It will take time for larger retailers to put the technology in place to accept this option, but local businesses don’t have to deal with same levels of bureaucracy and can move forward now. Right now, they have a choice. Two years from now, the inevitability of Apple Pay will leave them no choice, a significant risk in competitive markets.