For those that don’t know, Apple Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service by Apple Inc. that allows users of the newest Apple gadgets make payments using these devices. The form of payment is supported by major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express as well as major U.S. banks and is currently accepted by a large array of companies. There are a number of benefits and uses that companies can glean from implementing the service, especially with the upcoming release of the Apple Watch and consequent higher demand for the program.
Better Data Means Better Business Decisions
Incorporating Apple Pay into daily business transactions has the potential of opening up a whole new field of data about customers and their preferences, whether in retail or restaurants. As years of social media data collection have demonstrated, better data means making better business decisions. Restaurants, for example, will be able to track the type of dishes that are the most popular and base menus on such data. Customers are likely to feel more secure with their personal data since Apple Pay allows them to make transactions without a physical credit card, mitigating the potential of security breaches.
It’s only a matter of time before there’s an endless choice of apps that will allow marketers to take advantage of the endless possibilities that Apple Pay offers marketers. Having all that customer data and the connection already established between the business and customer will allow communications directly to the customers phone or watch. This can include weekly dining specials or upcoming sales events. Mobile payments aren’t the only thing in play, with services popping up that will allow businesses to convert website traffic into foot-traffic and connect social media data to actual customer data, allowing even more accurate and targeted marketing campaigns.
Addressing Credit Card Security
The security breaches with credit cards have been to frequent for retailers not to address this ongoing customer fear. Hacking is more prevalent than it’s ever been and consumers and business owners care more about security than ever. For Apple Pay to work, tech security at a company has to be essentially impermeable, meaning businesses have to make the upgrade to incorporate the service. According to Entrepreneur contributor David Goldin, president and CEO of AmeriMerchant, there is a new regulation in place that requires all merchants to support EMV chips by October 2015. This smart ship technology reduces risk and liability in the event of security breaches while offering better cardholder protection.
Building Customer Loyalty
There’s no denying that costumers love being rewarded for purchases they already make, with airline, credit card, and even coffee purchases having huge success in the area. While it may not be a feature yet, an Apple Pay rewards program is likely on the horizon in the future. According to small loan expert, Imperial Advance, incorporating tools such as Apple Pay may be a stepping stool for small businesses to join a rewards program where they have been normally excluded from lack of resources of capacity to employ such a program.
If there’s any reason that seems to trump others, it’s convenience these days. Most customers are looking to make their lives easier and if Apple Pay does that for them, then it’s a winner. According to Mike Isaac’s e-commerce blog post on The New York Times, this is likely the reason why large companies like Panera, Starbucks, and McDonalds have already adopted the program and more are jumping on board. If it means the customer can be happily on their way faster, there’s no going wrong.