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What is Apple Pay and How Does it Work?

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Nic Beique | November 17, 2022

“What is Apple Pay? How does it work? We answer these questions and more in our detailed merchant's guide to Apple Pay.”
1 min read
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    Apple Pay is a mobile wallet that takes advantage of NFC (Near-Field-Communication) technology, also known as Tap & Pay.

    How Does Apple Pay Work?

    It allows consumers with iPhones to "load" their various credit cards into their phone. When ready to make a purchase, they open the wallet app and simple tap their phone against the credit card reader to pay. Apple Pay is possible because iPhones and Apple watches now come standard with an NFC chip, just like credit cards which allows your Apple device to communicate with devices close-by.

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    How to pull up Apple Pay: Step-by-Step

    1. Head to the wallet app on your iPhone
    2. Select add new card
    3. Add your card details and save
    4. Double tap the home button to pull up your card and pay

    What Are The Benefits Of Using Apple Pay?

    Apple pay provides a new-age POS system payment experience through:

    • Speed and convenience of payment (you don't have to pull your wallet out of your pocket)
    • Enhanced security. You don't share your credit card number with the retailer so if compromised, your payment information won't be at risk; and the payment in encrypted.
    • Contrary to contactless cards, there is no transaction limit with Apple Pay (though this may vary by region)

    Are There Limitations To Using Apple Pay?

    There are some limitations with Apple Pay, such as:

    • It only works on Apple devices (no Androids)
    • Not all US issuing banks support it (although over 85% do)
    • Using your phone as your wallet requires you to keep the batteries charged

    How Much Does It Cost To Accept Apple Pay?

    Transactions are handled using the traditional interchange rates associated with the customer's credit card. There are therefore no additional fees to merchants.

    How Do Merchants Accept Apple Pay?

    As a merchant, all you need is a terminal that supports NFC. Most terminals now support near-field payments, and merchants are able to automatically accept Apple Pay through these terminals. Transactions work the same way as any other tap transaction-as long as your terminal supports NFC, your business will be able to accept Apple Pay transactions.

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