With the recent release of new operating systems for both iPhone and Mac, Apple Pay is available on desktops, marking the continued expansion of Apple’s mobile payments platform. Now, users can click the Apple Pay option on desktop sites and authenticate purchases using mobile devices.
In a nutshell, Apple Pay lets mobile devices make payments at contactless points of sale, or in iOS apps. Expanded Apple Pay capabilities provide added potential for any online retailer looking to streamline the path to purchase. As faulty chip card readers and confusion at the checkout line frustrate brick-and-mortar shoppers, online retailers should work to make mobile and desktop commerce as frictionless as possible. Fortunately, Apple Pay now allows retailers to decrease the amount of clicks to purchase across all devices.
While Apple Pay’s new capabilities will have a lasting impact on retailers, disruption in the existing payments ecosystem will be minimal. Today, when a consumer purchases a product, the payment gets routed through the issuing credit card bank, the merchant bank, a processor network, a credit card network, and a payment gateway. Apple Pay integrates with these systems, and only challenges point-of-sale systems, which can be easily upgraded to work with Apple Pay.
What does this mean for online retailers? Of course, not everyone has an iPhone. But since iPhone users spend four dollars for every Android user’s dollar, retailers will lose out if they do not take advantage of this opportunity to make purchasing easier and faster for Apple consumers. To use Apple Pay to their benefit, retailers must follow a few steps:
Be Strategic About Placement: Retailers must be smart about the placement of the Apple Pay button while also adhering to the Apple Pay UI and identity guidelines. Apple Pay should be easily accessible to users looking for that option, or integration is a waste of time.
Don’t Forget to Register: Apple Pay requires that retailers register for merchant accounts. Retailers must also install certificates that support each account. Take care of this early to prevent delays when implementing the program.
Apple Pay and its latest update certainly don’t disrupt the existing payment processing ecosystem. Rather, it adds another layer that can simplify online transactions for both consumers and retailers, and places the company more in competition with PayPal. As multi-channel interaction increases in popularity, retailers need to make efforts to give customers the most seamless, frictionless experience possible – and understanding and implementing tools like Apple Pay effectively is an important step.
Igor Gorin is CEO of Astound Commerce.