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Grow Your Business Technology

Face ID and Apple Pay Bring Sales Into the Future

Face ID and Apple Pay Bring Sales Into the Future
Credit: Apple

Those running a business are probably used to customers staring at their smartphones. It's a challenge to get their attention and keep them focused on the merchandise or signage as it is, especially if you want them to notice your latest products and new offers.

With the launch of the iPhone X, customers have another reason to stare at their phone, but this time, it may be in your favor. Those using Apple Pay will authenticate their purchase with Face ID, since the newest iPhone doesn't have the familiar home button.

As the first line of customer support, don't be surprised if there are some confused looks on faces and pleas for help should confusion arise when customers are trying to pay for goods at checkout. It often falls to store clerks or business owners to assist people if they're befuddled by a new technology. Here's a brief rundown of the changes surrounding Face ID and what it means for accepting transactions through Apple Pay.

When using an iPhone X to make a payment, the iPhone user will double tap the sleep button on the right side of the phone. Then they will need to look at their phone and authenticate themselves with Face ID. Currently, users touch the home button to do this with Touch ID.

The requirement to press a physical button is one way Apple is seeking to introduce tactile response to what will be a paradigm shift. When unveiling the feature, Apple executives spent considerable time on stage discussing security.

Apple says there's a million to one chance that someone else could unlock your device with Face ID. The security is supposed to be so solid that even a twin won't be able to pull any nefarious tricks on their unsuspecting sibling.

Whether your business is retail, digital or straddles different worlds, Face ID is the future of personal security and unlocking on the iPhone. (Note: Samsung Galaxy S8 phones feature something similar, relying on the company's own facial recognition technology to unlock the device.) But this means facial recognition will increasingly play an important role in commerce.

Face ID will be how iPhone users authenticate their identity when using third-party apps. All of the instances where someone currently uses Touch ID to verify their identity will now use Face ID. Such major changes are critical for business owners to keep tabs on, as there's likely to be a change to customer behavior.

The use of Touch ID won't disappear so quickly – Apple is still selling phones with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor with the current-generation iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Additionally, there are millions of phones out there where people are still using their thumbs dozens of times per day.

For business owners, staying on top of how this plays out is important. On the vendor side, there won't be dramatic changes to how you accept payments or the types of products you're able to offer. The main question for Face ID is whether it will usher in more digital interaction from iPhone users or if there will be pushback given this is such a substantial change to a feature that's been part of the iPhone for years.

For business owners, it's important to be aware of how Face ID will change the dynamic with Apple Pay so that you don't lose a sale due to the rapid pace of technological change.

Derek Walter

Derek Walter is the founder of Walter Media, which offers writing and content strategy services. He is also the author of Learning MIT App Inventor: A Hands-On Guide to Building Your Own Android Apps.