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What Online Sellers Should Know About Apple Pay

Even if you’re not Apple-obsessed, there are certain things online sellers should know about Tuesday’s big Apple launch event. Beyond the introduction of the latest iPhone (6 and 6 Plus) and operating system release (iOS 8), and the new Apple Watch, the big event for ecommerce is a new Apple payments service called Apple Pay.

The in-store features of Apple Pay are getting all the attention – not surprising, since it’s a major development. You’ll be able to use the new iPhone 6’s (or iPhone 5’s if you also have the Apple Watch) to pay for purchases by waving your device in front of a reader at the checkout counter.

But shoppers can also use Apple Pay to pay for items away from the store through retailers’ mobile apps. Here’s what Apple had to say about that:

Online shopping in apps with iPhone is also as simple as the touch of a finger. Users can pay for physical goods and services including apparel, electronics, health and beauty products, tickets and more with Touch ID.

Checkout can happen with a single touch, so there’s no need to manually fill out lengthy account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information, and card details are kept private and are not shared with the online merchant.

That means you can be at home, call up the Target department store mobile app, and make a purchase using Apple Pay.

Here’s some additional information about Apple Pay:

  • Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from the three major payment networks, American Express, MasterCard and Visa, issued by the most popular banks including Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo, representing 83 percent of credit card purchase volume in the US.
  • Stores that accept Apple Pay include 258 Apple retail stores in the US, Bloomingdale’s, Disney Store and Walt Disney World Resort, Duane Reade, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Sephora, Staples, Subway, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market.
  • Apple Watch will also work at the over 220,000 merchant locations across the US that have contactless payment enabled.
  • Apple Pay in-store purchases rely on NFC antenna design, a dedicated chip called the Secure Element, and Touch ID (fingerprint recognition reader launched in the last release).
  • Cashiers will not see customers’ name, credit card number or security code.

Apple is taking a very different approach than payment solutions from Amazon and PayPal when it comes to customer data. Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said “Apple doesn’t collect your purchase history, so we don’t know what you bought, where you bought it or how much you paid for it. And if your iPhone is lost or stolen, you can use Find My iPhone to quickly suspend payments from that device.”

You can learn more about Apple’s big announcements and watch the keynote on the Apple website.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.