How to take phone payments as a business

March 15, 2018

In the modern landscape, businesses need to be able to take payments via a number of methods, including cash, credit and debit card. One of the most important ways to take payment in the future, however, will be via phone payments. According to data from Statista, UK consumers will spend over $23 billion using contactless phone payment systems in 2018 – and that rate is set to grow by around 36% each year.
With this statistic in mind, it’s clear that being able to accept wireless phone payments using services such as Apple Pay Business and Android Pay Business is going to be vital going forward. But how do you go about taking phone payments? Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think and, if you do it right, accepting mobile payments won’t cost you any more than accepting traditional forms of payment.

Understanding the technology

Before we talk about how to take mobile phone payments, it’s a good idea to understand the technology behind contactless payment systems – some customers are still reluctant to use mobile payment technology due to the security implications of such devices.
Mobile payment providers such as Apple Pay Business or Samsung Pay Business use a communications protocol called NFC (Near Field Communication). This allows devices to establish radio communication with each other when they are just a few centimetres apart. The chip in the mobile phone is activated by the chip in the payment terminal and authorises it to send information. Once authorisation is received, the phone sends encrypted data securely to the payment terminal.
In the case of Android Pay and Apple Pay, the data sent is ‘token’ data which does not contain credit card information. This makes it more secure than using traditional methods of payment because credit card details are never shared with the retailer. Furthermore, transaction data is not stored on either Apple or Android servers, so there’s less risk of transaction data being stolen or compromised.

How to take phone payments

So now you know how mobile payment technology works and that it is more secure than traditional forms of payment, how do you go about taking phone payments? Well, in most cases it’s as simple as upgrading your payment terminal to an NFC compatible device. The latest payment terminals come with NFC mobile payment chips as standard while allowing you to continue accepting traditional EMV chip and pin cards. They are also acquirer agnostic, so you can keep using your current credit card processor.
Once your new terminals are installed, it’s just a case of training your staff on how to use the technology. While mobile payment is commonplace, don’t assume your staff know what it is or how to use it. They may also not understand how the technology works, so it’s a good idea to get them up to speed before you begin accepting payments. This blog is a great start. That way, they can confidently assure customers that the technology is secure and safe to use, should a customer enquire about it.