The impact may be small, but retailers should consider adding Apple Pay to their e-commerce website, a payment expert says.

Apple Inc.’s newest MacBook Pro laptop is now equipped with Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which is the hardware behind Apple’s one-touch checkout Apple Pay.

This gives e-retailers another reason to add an Apple Pay button to their websites, so a MacBook user can make a payment by pressing her finger to the sensor, authorizing her saved credit card to be charged.

“Online retailers should be thinking seriously of accepting all of the ‘pays’ on their e- and m-commerce sites,” says Thad Peterson, a senior analyst with consulting group Aite Group LLC. “It’s another opportunity to sell, and it’s the most secure type of transaction that they can accept.”

Peter McLachlan, co-founder and chief product officer at mobile commerce service provider Mobify, agrees, saying any quick checkout button can boost sales.

“Adding these quick-buy or buy-now buttons right on your product listing and product description pages allows buyers to skip the cart, avoiding unnecessary communications for fast results,” he says.


Apple Pay made a splash when it debuted in 2014 as a way to quickly checkout in mobile apps by having the smartphone’s sensor read a shopper’s fingerprint and then in-store by allowing a consumer tap her iPhone to a Near Field Communication-enabled  terminal at checkout. 275 retailers in the Internet Retailer 2017 Mobile 500 have an iPhone app, and of those apps, 51 have an Apple Pay Button, according to

In June, Apple announced it would allow retailers to add the Apple Pay button to mobile websites, so a consumer could quickly pay on the mobile web as well as in an app. However, the feature is only enabled on Apple’s Safari web browser. Apple’s MacBook announcement marks  the first time a consumer can use a biometric method to check out on a laptop, which is considered a desktop device.

MacBooks, however, don’t have the same kind of stronghold on the laptop market  as iPhones do on the smartphone market, Peterson says. Plus, Apple Pay functionality remains available only on Safari browsers. In addition, many one-click checkouts already exist on desktops, such as PayPal and 1-Click by Amazon. Because of these factors, the ability to use Apple Pay likely will not have a comparable  impact on desktop conversion rates as Touch ID had on mobile conversion rates, Peterson says. Touch ID is now considered standard for mobile transactions, and without it, mobile conversion would be much lower, he says.

Still, it’s not a bad idea to make the Apple Pay option available to shoppers, he says.


“Using biometrics and accepting the ‘pays’ in whatever form is going to be a significant payment alternative in the future,” Peterson says. “There isn’t much of a downside to retailers starting to use the capability and, by doing so, learn how to optimize it for their business.”