Announcements about Apple Pay have been everywhere this past week. Since its reveal at Apple’s iPhone event, we’ve gotten emails from our banks, credit cards and payment gateway providers touting support for the new system. With it comes the promise of contactless near-field communication (NFC) payments, eliminating insecure physical cards and a fast, secure way to make payments from within iOS applications.
But is any of this really new? Mastercard started a contactless payment system in 2003, and Google Wallet has offered both NFC phone payments and in app payments since 2011, but neither has really taken off in any large way. What makes 2014 any different?
The biggest barrier to adoption Apple Pay (or any NFC payment system) faces is lack of retailers where NFC readers are available. It was announced that 220,000 locations will accept Apple Pay at launch, but this is only a small fraction of the millions of merchants in the United States. New credit card terminals are expensive, and businesses aren’t likely to spend money to replace a machine that is otherwise working. Fortunately for Apple, credit card networks are mandating a switch to EMV (smart chip) cards by October 2015, and this will require new payment retailers to purchase new terminals that support the chips. It seems likely that most terminals will also support NFC as part of the upgrade.
What does all of this mean to your business? For retail stores, the implications are clear: NFC payments are going to become commonplace within the next few years. For merchants with an online presence, in-app payments could be huge, and this is where Five can help.
We can integrate mobile app payments with your existing eCommerce website by building you a custom phone app. Start with just simple cart integration, or opt for something more comprehensive that includes retail store maps, direct links to customer service or custom product calculators. With support from all the major phone platforms, 2015 is going to be the year mobile payments take off.
Contact us today to talk about your options.