Clover Network Inc., maker of the Clover tablet-based point-of-sale system, will be ready to accept Apple Pay contactless payment and in-app transactions when the scheme is released some time this month.
That’s the word from Leonard Speiser, Clover co-founder and president. The Clover POS system will be able to accept Apple Pay contactless transactions using a First Data Corp. PIN pad that has a built-in contactless reader and smart card reader for Europay-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) transactions. Some merchants, which Speiser says will not be named until Apple Pay is released, also will be able to accept in-app Apple Pay payments using a Clover-supplied app compatible with iOS 8. Apple expects to release Apple Pay in October.
Apple Pay uses near-field communication (NFC) technology for fast contactless payments at the point of sale as well as online, and it also uses tokenization to get vulnerable payment card numbers out of the transaction process. Apple Pay’s supporting cast includes the Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc., and American Express Co. payment networks as well as 11 large credit card issuers representing 83% of U.S. charge volume.
Speiser is most excited about the in-app payment capability. While Apple Pay contactless payments will be speedy, the opportunity for merchants is greater with in-app payments, he says.
He explains that at a merchant like a quick-serve restaurant, the number of customers most often outnumbers the number of employees who can take care their orders. Using the Clover app, a consumer will be able to order their food and pay for it with the in-app payment option. The order selections immediately can be sent to a kitchen printer for preparation.
While many restaurants may offer a similar expedited mobile ordering service, consumers have not widely adopted them in part because the enrollment process is cumbersome, Speiser says. “That would slow it down for the small business,” Speiser says. “What Apple has done is allowed anyone who wants to build an app to have a one-click buying experience.”
Apple Pay relies on the payment credential stored in the consumer’s iTunes accounts.
For merchants like restaurants, the Clover-supplied app will contain each merchant’s menu and allow some customization. Merchants also can create their own Clover-compatible apps that incorporate Apple Pay, Speiser says.
Clover is owned by First Data Corp., an Atlanta-based payment processor that is one of the initial supporters of Apple Pay.
Other mobile POS providers also have plans to incorporate Apple Pay and other payment technologies. Mobile-payment network LevelUp says its merchants’ customers will be able to store their LevelUp credentials in Apple’s Passbook mobile app, enabling those using Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 to quickly pay and redeem rewards; LevelUp also plans to integrate with Google Inc.’s Google Wallet and ship NFC and Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) scanners in the coming months. Merchant-services provider Harbortouch, Allentown, Pa., said “tens of thousands” of merchants using its Perkwave terminal will be able to accept Apple Pay transactions.