The Big Apple Comes to the UK

Following a successful launch in the US, First Data will be supporting its clients’ integration of Apple Pay™ in the UK as it hits the market today. The arrival of this technology will have a big impact on the payment industry, boosting awareness and likely long-term adoption of mobile and digital payment options.

The good news for small retailers is that they don’t need to wait to start taking advantage of this new payment model. Running a small business is a real challenge. Whether it’s navigating the ever evolving world of payment acceptance, inventory management, managing employees or revenue tracking, the day-to-day tasks involved with running a business quickly stack up. Although trialling and adopting new technologies can often be time-consuming and prohibitively costly for SMEs, Apple Pay will run on existing payment rails, and will be accepted at all terminals already enabled for contactless payments.

The key driver of consumer adoption of contactless payments is convenience. Apple Pay will feed into this ‘tap and go’ payment culture, expanding the range of options for consumers wishing to make a quick, streamlined payment. This will be of particular interest for businesses such as quick service food restaurants, whose customer satisfaction levels and experience depends heavily on their ability to turn around orders and payment at speed. A few seconds can make all the difference to time-strapped shoppers or busy workers popping out for a lunch break sandwich!

It should also be noted that contactless payments bring a reduction in the burden of cash management for businesses. Aside from cash flow control, simply having a till full of notes and coins brings about its own admin, with staff required to cash up and physically deposit the money at the bank.

Whilst it will doubtless take some time to reach mass adoption, Apple arguably has the strongest brand recognition worldwide, with an army of loyal supporters that will no doubt support and embrace Apple Pay. This is perhaps particularly true of the younger Millennial generation – they’re far more likely to leave their wallet at home than their phone.

At First Data Merchant Solutions, we are excited for small businesses to have the opportunity to capitalise on the adoption of Apple Pay, enabling them to venture into new payment territories. By offering cutting edge technology to their customer base, the small businesses of the UK have the chance to really prove themselves as the engines of the British economy.