By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Apple Pay. It’s Apple’s glorious way to make you use your phones for everything—this time, Apple wants your iPhone to become your wallet (soon—your brain!). That’s right, you can now use your iPhone 6 device to buy anything from a new sports jacket to a #4 with a diet coke just by tapping your iPhone to the Apple Pay reader.
What Is Apple Pay?
As mentioned, you do need a compatible Apple device. At this time that means you need the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus because those are Apple only devices (so far) that have the Near Field Communication (NFC) antenna capability which allows Apple Pay to actually work. Oh, and you also need the Touch ID sensor (don’t get ahead of yourselves iPhone 5s users—you still can’t use Apple Pay). From an operating system level, you need Apple latest version of iOS which will be iOS 8.1 rolling out on Monday 10/20/2014. This software update will unlock the Apple Pay feature on your iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Great—you have the hardware and software, but what else do you need? Well, this is the scary part. You’ll now need to link a compatible credit/debit card to your iPhone. If you already have one linked to your existing Apple account (you know, the one that Apple charges when you buy that Angry Birds expansion or that new album that just dropped) you can stick to using that one, but you can also link another card if you’d like from these participating credit and debit partners:
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Wells Fargo
Not surprisingly, the card will be stored in your passbook app.
How Does Apple Pay Actually Work?
Now that you’re all set up, how does Apple Pay actually work?
How Will Apply Pay Affect My Business?
That’s all well and good, but how does Apple Pay affect your business? Apple Pay is going to be huge. Check out all the retail partners it has already. Unsurprisingly, banks and credit card companies are jumping aboard the Apple Bandwagon using viral marketing, promoted Tweets, and the like to get their customers to link their cards on their Apple device. The reason is simple as well—Apple Pay will cut the cost of these banks and increase security, specifically identity theft. And let’s think about it for a minute: if banks and credit card companies are jumping at the bit, and numerous retail businesses have also jumped on board the bandwagon, don’t let your business fall too far behind.
What Are The Concerns I Should Have?
There are, however many concerns facing businesses that are looking into the Apple Pay system. There have been other, similar services out there that use the NFC technology—namely PayPal and Google Wallet. Why will Apple be any different? Because that’s what they’re known for. I’m not saying it’s a guarantee that it will take off like the scream of a scorned banshee on the moor, but there’s a very good chance of that. Moreover, think about what Apple has done in the past: They’ve taken a great idea and perfected it. The MP3 player, the tablet, the smartphone—these things were not all invented by Apple, but they brought them into the mainstream better than anyone. Who’s to say they can’t do this with the “wallet, without the wallet” Apple Pay service? Additionally, there are some concerns about the security of Apple’s data storage systems that I’m sure you’re well aware of. Well, the fact that banks are behind this and Apple has assured us that the system is very secure should be some solace. When it comes down to it, what’s the difference between Apple Pay and a piece of plastic in your wallet with an archaic magnetic strip that basically anything can read? Having the added security of your own fingerprint should be even more solace. And don’t feel left out if you’re a business that’s just starting out—or even a business that’s still adapting to the digital marketplace. Don’t forget that you can always use IncPlan’s merchant services to get your online marketplace going. With that in tow, looking into Apple Pay (and it’s hundreds of millions of potential users) is the next step. I’ll be excited to see how Apple Pay does in the up and coming months as this could be the wallet of your very near future.