Hand holding a phone that is setting up Apply Pay

Why Can’t I use Apple Pay Everywhere?

There’s a reason that over 85% of Merchants now accept Apple Pay. Apple Pay can add convenience, speed, and security to your shopping experience. It can mean carrying fewer cards and cruising through checkout lines with a quick tap of the phone. 

But what about the other 25% of Merchants that don’t accept Apple Pay? Let’s dig in.

What's Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a digital wallet. Cardholders can link their bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, and gift cards to Apple Pay. Then when paying, the cardholder will log in (using FaceID, TouchID, or Passcode), and scan their phone. The device used to capture transaction details is a Near Field Communication (NFC) Point of Sale (POS). Which just means that cardholders can tap the POS. 

With Apple Pay, your account balance and/or line of credit isn’t necessarily connected to your phone. Instead, Apple Pay is a method of activating a transaction with the Merchant. Once all the correct levels of authorizations are passed, funds are removed from your account by your Issuer—but don’t worry, this is all done in seconds behind the scenes. 

Why Can’t I Use Apple Pay at Walmart? In short: Walmart Pay. In creating and using their own digital wallet, Walmart can better track user data, integrate user data into their Walmart ecosystem, increase engagement, and retain more control over both fees and the payment experience.

More On How Apple Pay Works

Apple Pay uses a one-time code to secure transactions—since it’s a one-time code, subsequent transactions can’t be run against that wallet without Apple Pay generating a new code. And instead of storing the actual card number and CVV in your phone, Apple Pay tokenizes the cardholder’s details—which means if your phone is stolen, the thief won’t be able to steal your physical card numbers. 

The extra layers of security with Apple Pay can mean a decreased chance of fraud and chargebacks for the Merchant. That extra layer of security can be particularly attractive for Card-Not-Present (CNP) Merchants, where the heightened risk of disputes can obliterate their bottom-line and thresholds.

Why Can’t I Use Apple Pay Everywhere?

Here are 5 reasons why a Merchant might not accept Apple Pay: 
  1. Perceived Security Risk – Some Merchants are slow to adopt new technology. The idea of tokenizing credit card information and using cryptographic data is complex and daunting. And for some business owners, the risk of new technologies might not equate to the number of paying customers that use digital wallets.

  2. Transaction Costs – Nothing in Payments is free, and Apple Pay is no different. Merchants typically pay a small percentage on every transaction. For most Merchants, Apple Pay’s added convenience and speed can pay off in the long run. But high transaction volumes of Apple Pay can also siphon some revenue.

  3. Upgrade Costs – Processors and PSPs will likely offer an NFC POS. But established Merchants that have “been doing business a certain way” for decades might be comfortable with their set up. Upgrading infrastructure could cost a lot and come with elevated fees.

  4. Technical Complexity of Web Integration – Setting up Apple Pay might be as simple as a Merchant talking with their Processor to connect Apple Pay. But getting Apple Pay onto a website can require a developer and/or integration with existing PSPs.

  5. Less Control – For large chains like Walmart, data is gold. And Apple Pay adds protections against how much data companies can access. Sometimes a Merchant may opt-out of accepting digital wallets, and instead build their own boutique payment solution.

  6. Their Processor Capabilities – Some Processors don’t accept Apple Pay. Some may have their own contactless payment solution. Some may not have the technical expertise to implement it. Or some may not have relationships with Apple.

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