Christian Retailing

Apple launches mobile payment option Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 04:59 PM America/New_York

Some retailers await Bookstore Manager card reader option

Apple customers can now start making payments with the touch of a finger. The company’s new Apple Pay service became available in the U.S. on Oct. 20.

The company said that Apple Pay offers “an easy, secure and private way to pay” using the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in stores and through apps. Users of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will be able to use Touch ID on their devices for Apple Pay within apps. The new service is enabled by a free software update to iOS 8.

“The reaction to Apple Pay has been amazing,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We continue to add more Apple Pay-ready banks, credit card companies and merchants, and think our users will love paying with Apple Pay.”Industry News Apple

The mobile payment service allows customers to make purchases without cash or credit cards in hand. Consumers either use credit cards they already have registered with iTunes or enter a new credit card number. Each time a consumer makes a purchase, a unique, 16-digit security code is created that cannot be used on another device or by another person. Stores must install an NFC (near field communication) reader to accept Apple Pay purchases.

The Mardel chain is monitoring various payment options, but has not joined the Apple bandwagon—at least not yet.

“We do not currently accept Apple Pay as our systems are not built to accept it,” Mardel President John Nardini said. “We are looking at various payment technologies/options and will be adopting the ones we think are best for our customers. We will watch the market and if Apple Pay is effective and accepted by consumers, we will look at it in the future.”

LifeWay is also not on board.

“We’re intrigued by the capability, but have no immediate plans to implement Apple Pay,” a LifeWay spokesman said.

Family Christian Stores “will not have Apple Pay as a payment option at this time,” said Steve Johnson, the chain’s senior marketing manager.

Munce Group President Kirk Blank said that “the majority of the Munce Group retailers use Bookstore Manager software.”

Bookstore Manager is expected to roll out mobile payments hardware in the first quarter of 2015. Brent Casey, chief operating officer, said the price to retailers for each Verifone reader that will interface Bookstore Manager’s system likely will be at about $250, but it hasn’t been set yet.

Bookstore Manager is planning to offer two reader options, the contactless (NFC) and the standard reader, which requires the card to be inserted into a slot. Both offer the possibility of pin or signature.

Credit card issuers are moving toward providing cardholders with smart cards (cards with chips), and because of a change in the law shifting liability for bogus transactions to the retailer, stores must comply by October 2015.

“There is a tremendous expense that will be borne by the retailer/merchant and the banks, which will eventually trickle down to the consumer,” Casey said. “The problem with Christian retail is that due to downward pricing pressure, it is very difficult to recoup increased costs.” —Johnson