Apple Becoming Fixture in Payments Industry
Apple products such as the iPad are becoming more integrated into how businesses, especially retailers, operate. These small and powerful devices offer similar functionality to larger PC counterparts but are thin and light enough to be carried around all day. Companies that want to integrate iPads with their point-of-sale systems can do so by establishing a mobile POS to complete sales anywhere in the store.
Looking ahead, Apple devices figure to play an increasing role in how payments are accepted, according to a recent IDC report. The research firm indicated the company is focusing on both the offline and online commerce experience.
James Wester, IDC practice director at IDC’s Worldwide Payment Strategies division, said Apple has made it a goal to make payments more streamlined and convenient for users.
“Apple’s unique role as a device manufacturer, OS provider and online retailer means Apple has the ability to impact the way payments evolve like few other companies. Merchants, issuers, processors and other payment stakeholders will need to understand that impact and begin adjusting their investments and strategies accordingly,” Wester suggested.
Retailers still not realizing potential of the iPad
Despite the advantages of iPads in the retail space, businesses in this field are still not embracing the devices as much as other industries. A Good Technology report detailing mobile adoption during the fourth quarter of 2013 found the retail sector only accounted for 2 percent of iPad activations from October through December.
The report discovered the financial services industry generated 47 percent of iPad activations during the quarter, followed by:
- Business and professional services at 14 percent
- Manufacturing with 9.4 percent
- Government/public sector at 9 percent
- Healthcare just under 4 percent
- Communications with 2.8 percent
- Legal industry at 2.4 percent
- Other markets with 7.6 percent
Retailers, consumers can benefit greatly from Apple device
Retailers interested in lowering costs, replacing old PCs and enhancing the consumer experience owe it to themselves to consider incorporating devices like Apple’s iPad into their stores. One of the main issues with stationary POS systems is that the checkout lines are often congested at one location of a store. If a shopper has a problem that requires 10 minutes to address, other people in line become frustrated and the line continues to grow.
Sales reps walking around the store with tablets in hand and an iPad POS system in place can limit such occurrences from happening. Employees using the device can assist shoppers anywhere at any time throughout the store, completing checkouts on the spot.
As Apple makes improvements to its offerings to enhance the payment experience, retailers also invested in the Apple ecosystem and devices such as the iPad will be in great position to benefit from the improvements coming their way. As the Good Technology study found, not many companies in this field have taken the leap just yet, so forward-thinking brands can get a leg up on the competition in both the short- and long-term.
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