News Feature | May 14, 2015

Home Depot To Officially Add Apple Pay

By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer


It was inaccurately reported that Home Depot dropped Apple Pay support earlier this week, however, the retailer has plans to accept it soon, according to a report from Bloomberg. The news of Home Depot quietly dropping support for Apple Pay first appeared on 9 to 5 Mac on May 5, 2015, after a consumer contacted Home Depot about Apple Pay, and was told the retailer wasn't currently accepting it. Home Depot is a PayPal partner, but accepted the Apple Pay as a payment option since the service's launch in October of last year. Without any notice, they made the payment option unavailable. When reports broke they weren't accepting it, Home Depot said they will officially support Apple Pay when they upgrade their in-store hardware and POS systems this year.

Home Depot began accepting Apple Pay upon the launch of Apple's mobile payment option because the retailer's terminals used NFC (Near Field Communication) readers. Home Depot didn't have a formal agreement in place with Apple, but nonetheless accepted the payment option. Now the functionality to the NFC has been turned off, rendering the retailer unable to accept Apple Pay  while the POS systems undergo maintenance at certain stores. In the meantime, Home Depot says they will try to work out a deal with Apple to accept Apple Pay, but no date of availability is on the horizon yet. After Apple Pay, Home Depot may add additional mobile payment options as well, the retailer says. Home Depot currently accepts PayPal both in-store and online. To date, Apple still lists Home Depot as an applicable retailer in their online FAQ for Apple Pay.

The retailer told Bloomberg its goal is to add Apple Pay acceptance to payment terminals in more than 2,000 of its stores. Once successful with adding Apple Pay acceptance to all of its stores, Home Depot would be the largest retailer yet to accept Apple Pay. Best Buy recently added Apple Pay support in its mobile app, and plans to accept the payment option in stores soon. This move came even as Best Buy was a member of the Merchant Customer Exchange's mobile payment system, Current C. The Merchant Customer Exchange is a group of some of the nation's biggest retailers, and the collective has been working on Current C, a system that uses QR codes for payment information verification and was invented to get rid of costly credit card processing fees.

Consumers are more optimistic about Apple Pay and security than they were after the initial launch. A recent survey shows that their perspective on the mobile payment service has shifted, with more interested in Apple Pay than PayPal. 4,168 respondents were questioned about their opinion on mobile payments, with 45% saying they planned to use Apple Pay in the next 90 days. One in four respondents also stated that they considered mobile payment options more secure than credit cards.  As Home Depot had a high profile security breach last year, security is on the minds of both the retailer and their customers.