Our business expert Jim Salmon, vice president of Business Services, answers your questions on the latest industry news.

Apple Pay™, the new mobile payments service from Apple®, promises to change the face of retail forever. The service gives shoppers a convenient and safe way to make purchases by simply passing their iPhone® 6 over a sensor at the point of sale.

This sounds great for consumers. But what happens when you flip the script to the retailer’s perspective?

We asked Jim, our business expert, to give us the low down on what Apple Pay means for retail business owners.

“How does Apple Pay impact small retailers who are constantly adjusting to ensure a quality customer experience?”

Jim Salmon: That’s a great question, and a topic we haven’t seen very much in the news.

Americans embrace new technology quickly–58 percent of us own smartphones. It’s only a matter of time before this new form of mobile payments becomes the norm.

In the meantime, small business owners should plan now for that inevitable investment. There is a window of time before mobile wallet becomes an expectation from consumers. Retailers should consider the impact on their business if they don’t equip their registers with the new technologies. The ability to accommodate Apple Pay, and/or the EMV chip and PIN cards could become a competitive edge. At some point, retailers will need to be capable of accepting all forms of payment.

Larger stores will adopt mobile payment options quicker than smaller ones. And that’s okay. Because the space is so new, small business owners can benefit from watching the larger companies, and learn which payment options become more widely used.

Here are a few tips for small business owners to prepare for these changes:

  1. Engage in an open dialogue with merchant card processors to see what they offer and the potential costs.
  2. Watch for new developments in mobile payments, particularly to see what the leaders in the payment processing industry are doing.
  3. Communicate with your customers and keep an eye on competitors. Get a gauge on what forms of payment each of them use and accept. Plan your timing based on these factors.

Apple, and iPhone are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.  Apple Pay is a trademark of Apple, Inc.