What is Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a form of a digital wallet contactless payment technology as well as a new feature for iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. It pulls your credit cards, debit cards, and other sensitive-payment data from the Passbook app, enabling you to use an iPhone 6 or Apple Watch as a wallet at store checkouts.

DEFINITION of ‘Digital Wallet’

A system that securely stores users’ payment information and passwords for numerous payment methods and websites. By using a digital wallet, users can complete purchases easily and quickly with near-field communications technology. Digital wallets can be used in conjunction with mobile payment systems that allow customers to pay for purchases with their smart phones.

Up to 250 merchants, including Marks and Spencer, Boots and Waitrose in the UK, have already introduced Apple Pay with support across all major credit and debit card networks.

The majority of retailers have already implemented contactless payments so introducing Apple Pay was easy to do and in some cases happened automatically.

With retailers welcoming Apple pay there will always be some risks but these can be overshadowed by the benefits.

Raj Sond, general manager at First Data Merchant Solutions, describes Apple Pay as a “fantastic opportunity for SMEs” as they are able to reap the benefits of this new payment method without the usual cost barriers associated with adopting new technology.

An increase in contactless transactions will also reduce the burden of cash management for small businesses, and the time SME owners and their staff must dedicate to behind the scenes admin.”

Using Apple Pay also appeals to the younger more tech savvy audience, as there is no need to carry a wallet around anymore as your phone can make payments, especially if you forget your wallet.

Choosing to use Apple pay can help businesses position themselves to be forward –looking and focused on enhancing the consumer experience. It also allows consumers to pay in a simple, secure and private way. There is a reduced risk of data theft or misuse as it provides the retailer with less customer data than traditional forms of payment. On the downside with less customer data there is less information for retailers to collect, analyse and use to drive engagement, but this can be achieved in other ways including loyalty schemes.

Smaller retailers are positive about Apple Pay but they don’t believe it will have a material impact on how they operate.

What else is there out there?

Not a lot the moment. Apple Pay is at the forefront of development of electronic wallets in Britain, as rivals Android Pay and Samsung pay have not yet announced plans to enter the UK market.