Apple's P-to-P play will push retailers to adopt Apple Pay

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The world has been waiting for the recent person-to-person payments announcement from Apple, and it’s finally here. “Pay Cash” allows anyone with Apple Pay (and iOS 11) to send money to their friends, colleagues, or family.

Not dissimilar to Venmo or other payment tools, balances can be kept in a Pay Cash account or transferred to your bank. Moreover, balances can be used toward retail purchases made with Apple Pay.

I am often asked about the security of Apple Pay, whether it’s by a reporter, analysts, or even a retailer. In reality, it’s actually much safer, and caters more toward today’s mobile-obsessed consumer than traditional credit card payment or even paying with cash. There are two factors to this enhanced security. First, every transaction can easily be made to require a pin code or thumbprint. Second, the major mobile payment providers like Apple, Google, and Samsung all use tokenization to ensure the card number isn’t stored on either the consumer’s phone or the retailer’s POS terminal.
Retailers are already spending time and money upgrading their POS environments to remain compliant and accept EMV (chip) cards. If you’re going to spend the money, look for a solution that’s mobile payment friendly (like Apple Pay) as well. Cashless checkout means shorter lines, and happier customers. Today, only 14% of retailers offer mobile POS, but with the introduction of Pay Cash, you can expect that number to increase significantly.

As is often the case with new payment technologies, there’s a chicken-and-egg scenario in which it takes some convincing for both consumers and retailers to adopt the new methods. The introduction of person-to-person payments with Apple Pay flips this battle on its head. Now more than ever, consumers will demand that their favorite retailer accept Apple Pay.

Mobile payments are actually more secure than their traditional “card swipe” counterparts, so why not embrace mobile payments for consumers’ convenience and safety? Equip your sales staff with mobile card readers and have them intercept customers whenever there are more than two in line. Allow customers to make in-store purchases using a native consumer app installed on their mobile devices. If mobile payments are convenient, safe, and available from a critical mass of retailers, a shift toward them is inevitable. As this happens, connecting loyalty to payment methods is a big opportunity for forward-thinking and agile brands.

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