Apple Pay for business – what will it cost me?

Editorial Team

4 min read
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Apple Pay® is one of the top mobile payment and digital wallet services used today. And it’s not difficult to see why:

  • Apple® has a huge following of fans, with more than 60 million Apple Music® subscribers.1
  • Apple Pay leverages industry-leading security technology, including near-field communication (NFC), biometrics, and tokenization.
  • Before launching its new payment technology, Apple secured agreements with big names like McDonald’s, Whole Foods, and Subway.2

As a merchant, does it make sense to adopt Apple’s payment technology? How much will it cost you to implement Apple Pay at your business?

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A breakdown of Apple Pay implementation costs

To accept in-person Apple Pay transactions, you’ll need to consider costs for:

  • Purchase or rental of an NFC payment terminal
  • Additional software upgrades
  • Employee training

With an NFC contactless payment terminal, customers can complete transactions at the point of sale without having to physically insert a credit or debit card. They can simply wave or tap their iPhone or Apple Watch over the terminal to complete the transaction.

Prices for NFC terminals range, and depend on if you want to use a terminal that sits on your countertop or use a mobile card reader that pairs with a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, based on the hardware you select, you may also need to invest in software upgrades. It’s best to discuss options with your merchant account provider or payment processor to determine what equipment will be the most efficient and cost-effective for your business.

You should also consider employee training. Your staff needs to understand how to properly use NFC contactless readers to process payments. The training should also include refunds, chargebacks, and cancellations. This cost (measured in employee hours) can vary, depending on the size of your staff.

Does it make sense to invest resources so your business can begin accepting this popular payment technology?

Is Apple Pay worth the investment?

Ultimately, it is a personal decision — one that will vary from merchant to merchant. Millions of store locations already accept Apple Pay, and although Apple doesn’t charge merchants fees to accept the payment method, you will still pay transaction fees as you would typically on any other credit and debit sale.3

Credit card swipe fees in the U.S. range from 2 percent to 4 percent. In fact, American merchants pay out over $80 billion in fees a year nationwide.4 Some card issuers use a portion of these fees to fund reward programs.5

When setting up its payment system, Apple managed to reduce these fees by as much as 10 percent.6 Since Apple Pay is not the only mobile payment technology available, credit card issuers agreed to reduce their fees for Apple Pay — with the expectation that they’ll make more profits through higher transaction volume.7

Additionally, because Apple Pay uses tokenization and multi-factor authentication to secure transactions, this enables lower swipe fees.

Does accepting Apple Pay make sense for your business?

Expanding your payment options to accept Apple Pay may be beneficial for your business. It’ll help to attract new customers that prefer to use mobile wallets and contactless payments. New business means increased sales.

And don’t forget – many EMV credit card terminals come equipped with NFC capabilities. If you upgraded your payment infrastructure since the 2015 liability shift, you may be ready to accept Apple Pay.

If you need help getting started — or if you want additional strategies for speeding up payments — don’t hesitate to connect with a representative today.

1 “Number of Apple Music subscribers worldwide from October 2015 to June 2019,” Statista, 11 December 2019
2 “Subway, McDonald’s, and Other Chains Are Launching Apple Pay Today,” Eater, 20 October 2014
3 “About Apple Pay for merchants,” Apple
4 “Swipe Fees,” National Retail Federation, 15 December 2019
5 “Visa is planning changes to swipe fees,”, 4 February 2020 6 “Apple Pay nets a discount from banks, Walmart says ‘no thanks’,” Macworld, 12 September 2014

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