As if Apple needed any more of the market share, it is once again moving forward quickly with its mobile apps and new features. Apple Pay is scheduled to be unveiled in October 2014, and offers more flexibility and more options when it comes to accepting mobile payments.
Soon, adding your credit card that you use for payments will be possible for those who are using the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6S, or the new Apple Watch. When you shop at stores that have checkout terminals that are capable of using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, all you have to do in order to make your purchase is hold your phone close to the terminal and use your fingerprint to complete the purchase. Sound crazy? Maybe. But, let’s dig in a little bit and discuss the details.
The Near Field Communciation (NFC) technology is also often referred to as “tap to pay” technology. Any device that contains an NFC chip, which now includes certain types of smart phones, credit cards, hotel keys and other electronic cards, is able to make wireless payments when the merchant has this technology available. You can have multiple cards set up to use with your Apple phone or device, and select the one you want to use for the purchase at that time. The iPhone 6 is the first version of the iPhone that is equipped with this technology, but, previous versions of Android phones or certain devices using Windows operating systems have had this capability.
Easily Add Cards
The first cards that get added to your Apple Pay are any cards that are already associated with your iTunes account. Previous options for mobile pay, such as Google Wallet, stored encrypted card information differently, in a cloud, and some would argue that this was less secure than storing it in the SIM card and requiring fingerprint confirmation for payment. To add cards to your Apple Pay, all you have to do is photograph the actual card and add them to your Passbook.
Use Most Types of Credit Cards
With the Apple Pay, you can opt to use a variety of credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Multiple banks are included in this group, including Wells Fargo, Chase, Barclays, USAA, Citibank, Capital One and Bank of America.
Opportunities to Use Apple Pay
More and more merchants are enlisting the technology necessary to use Apple Pay at their purchase terminals. Look for the symbol that shows the terminal is equipped to handle the transaction.
Compatibility with Other Mobile Apps
Apple Pay has integrated with several other popular mobile apps, including Open Table and Uber, allowing users to use their smart phones to pay for dinner or order a ride when they need one. The Touch ID security feature is convenient, yet allows for increased flexibility of payment options (as opposed to cash and credit cards), which is only expected to increase as more partner apps become compatible.
Focus on Security
The main layer of security, and one that makes the Apple Pay so unique is the use of Touch ID. Your phone will be able to identify that it is indeed you making the purchase, since you have to use your fingerprint to actually complete the transaction. Because the card number is not actually stored within the phone, this method of payment is very secure. This means, that even if your phone is lost or stolen, your digits are safe.
Also, the way in which the data is stored, with a dynamic security code that is transaction-specific (like many ENV-encrypted credit cards), prevents hackers from being able to retrieve data from any security breach.
Is the End of Credit Cards Nearing?
Don’t worry, those handy plastic cards aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Mobile phones have had the capability to make payments for several years now, and people still use credit cards. For now, and for a while into the future, this technology will not only not be available everywhere, it will take a long time for this type of payment method to catch on in a widespread manner. But, it is still pretty cool, and we think it is something worth taking a closer look at!