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Is Apple Pay safe to use?

With the present day society inching closer and closer to the cashless, cordless and wireless way of living with each passing day, there’s no way you could’ve missed the modern-day tech giants urging you to ‘pay your way’ or providing you ‘an easier way to pay’ in the recent times. Apple is one of them, and as usual, is leading the pack with a cutting-edge mobile payment option known as ‘Apple Pay.’


Apple Pay Safety

You can use Apple Pay on your iPhones, iPads and Apple smart watches. Comparatively a much newer digital wallet than the likes of Android Pay and others, it’s rapidly gaining a loyal fan following of its own. Many consider it a much safer option than others. However, is that really the case? Can you really use Apple Pay for your day to day needs without having to worry about the confidentiality of your financial details? First, let’s find out…

How Apple Pay works?

Once you sign up for the Apple Pay service, you’re required to input the necessary credit card, debit card and/or banking details into the phone. You may even be asked for more detailed information as a security check.

Now, whenever you wish to make a payment, you must input either your thumb print or a pre-decided code for validating the Apple Pay payment and then move your Apple device closer to the payment processor. Your phone will vibrate as soon as the payment goes through.

Security-wise, Apple assures that it doesn’t store any of your financial information on its servers. Furthermore, even the information that gets retained on your device, gets stored on a special ‘secure element’ that can’t be accessed very easily.

In addition, Apple employs a method known as tokenization for encrypting your financial information, to keep it from leaking on the Internet. In the event that you do lose your phone or device, you can easily wipe your financial details using certain methods.

Possible drawbacks

As in case of all Internet security-related concerns, you must constantly guard yourself from certain human errors. If you do end up giving out any of your confidential Apple Pay info to a third party, there’s nothing Apple or any security measure can do to save you from a potential financial loss.

Physical theft of a phone or device is another huge concern among the mobile payment users. However, in case of Apple Pay, it isn’t as big a concern as it is with other popular mobile payment options. Nevertheless, if you don’t take proper security measures to protect your data, even a semiskilled hacker can read your financial details or hack into your accounts.

Regardless of what Apple or other mobile payment processing companies may say, hackers are constantly trying to beat the system and succeeding on many occasions too.

You must also guard yourself from any possibility of breach happening to your account/s linked to Apple Pay. Or any of those accounts finding a way to access financial info used by Apple Pay. Hackers are very clever and know how to take different routes to such critical data. They don’t mind using certain accounts for gaining access to the others and so on.

You must ensure that all your verification methods and passwords are highly secure, even when it’s about the seemingly unimportant accounts. Avoid using public networks at all cost, until you have all the protective measures in place.

More precautions you can take

The safety of any digital wallet, including Apple Pay depends heavily on the security habits you develop over a period of time and the precautions you take.

It’s highly recommended to get a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service for your iPhone that’ll connect your device to an off-site server using a highly-encrypted connection. Doing so will protect your critical data whenever it’s transferred over a public network. Even though Apple Pay has its own security standards, you never know when the cyber criminals find their way in. Such VPN service will also protect your critical account details that may leak in the event of the breach of your Apple account. Some of the VPN services recommended for this purpose are HideMyAss, TotalVPN, Spotflux Premium VPN, Express VPN, IP Vanish and more.

As a general precaution, keep a constant eye on your finances and carry out a brief review of your financial accounts every week, regardless of whether you’re using a digital wallet or not. Subscribing to alerts from your bank/s and Apple may also be a good idea.

The negative consequences of physical phone theft in particular can be avoided by adopting the strongest verification measures such as 6-digit pin numbers and fingerprint verification. Whatever you do, ensure that ‘1111’ isn’t the only go to option for you.

Please note that you may not come to know about your stolen phone immediately, and if a criminal does find his/her way into your phone, it’s not just the Apple Pay data, but a lot more info that may get compromised.

So, is Apple Pay really safe to use?

Yes, Apple Pay is safe to use indeed. But you can make it safer by adopting certain measures. On the other hand, if you’re highly concerned about your financial and identity details, there’s nothing that beats carrying some cash in your wallet!

What more, there’s no way of finding the kind of tools that hackers and/or vendors may use for accessing your confidential data. So, all you can do is stay cautious and use Apple play only at places where you feel it’s safe to use.

Apple emphasizes that using Apple Pay is any day safer than using the physical credit/debit cards. That’s because every payment gets authenticated via biometric sensors (the heart rate monitor on the Apple Watch or the iPhone’s touch ID). These measures can prevent any criminal who steals your phone from simply going on a swiping and spending spree. But, how do these measures matter to a hacker who has already obtained your credit/debit card details and has used them for creating an Apple Pay account of his/her own, on his/her own device?

Based on certain redundancies and the level of encryption built into its system, Apple Pay can also be compared to PayPal when it comes to security. Only you know the extent of risk you’re willing to take and what type of transactions you’re most comfortable with.

Having said all that, Apple Pay is undeniably a very interesting technology that has plenty of room for growth, especially in the security aspect. All we can hope for is to see it evolve in the future, turning into the most secure and efficient mobile payment option of all.


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5 Examples of Mobile Payments

5 Examples of Mobile Payments

A recently carried out survey by Accenture revealed that even though 52% of North Americans are well aware of the mobile payments, only 18% use them regularly. High-income households and millennials are the most frequent mobile payment users with 38% and 23% of them using such payment modes at least once every week respectively. On the other hand, eMarketer has forecasted a 210% growth in the mobile payment transactions in the year 2016, expecting them to jump from $8.71 billion in 2015 to $27.05 billion in 2016.

Digital Wallets

So, no matter what the current market penetration figures suggest, the mobile payment industry is bound to grow tremendously in the times to come. The question is – Where will you figure in this movement?! If you’re someone who’s ready to become a part of this ongoing revolution, you cannot overlook the importance of some of the prominent mobile payment mediums of today. Here are the top 5 that are a must-know for all aspiring digital wallet/mobile payment users:

Apple Pay

A mobile wallet from Apple, this one’s available on the iPhone 6 (or newer) and Apple Watch (when it’s paired with an iPhone 5 or newer). You can load your credit/debit card info into the wallet and use your iPhone or Apple Watch for making payments at stores and restaurants equipped with contactless NFC Point-of-Sale systems. A simple tap on these systems would process the payment. Apple Pay can also be used for making in-app purchases with an iPad or an iPhone.

Please note, you’re required to lock your iPhone’s screen with a touch ID and a pass code, in order to enable Apple pay. The same touch ID and pass code must be used for authorizing the payments too. As an added level of security, you can select a 6 digit code, rather than a conventional 4 digit PIN number while using Apple pay. It employs something known as tokenization for protecting the cardholder’s data, and like majority of high-end digital wallets, it doesn’t store any card details on the device. Apple Pay can also be disabled remotely by using the ‘Find My iPhone’ and ‘Lost Mode’ features of iPhone, or via iCloud.

At present, Apple Pay works with all major credit and debit cards issued by large US banking establishments. It is housed inside Apple Wallet (known as ‘Apple Passbook’ earlier), which can even be used for storing other critical items like coupons, boarding passes, tickets and loyalty cards.

Apple Pay can currently be used at over million different stores in the United States, including popular retail outlets like Macy’s and Best Buy. On the whole, Apple pay is pretty easy to use and does a fairly good job at keeping the payment details secure.

Android Pay or Google Wallet

Android Pay is the Google’s mobile wallet application meant for Android-based smartphones and tablets. While using Android Pay, rather than tapping your credit card on a payment processing NFC (Near Field Communication) machine, all you need to do is tap your smart phone on it instead, or better still, just wave your phone over the machine, and the payment will be done! The machine identifies the credit/debit card details associated with your Google account and uses them for processing the payment.

Please keep in mind that you require NFC technology enabled smart phones or tablets for making Android Pay payments and your phone must be running on the Android OS. Furthermore, you should have linked your credit/debit card with your Google account as well.

At present, Android Pay works only with credit/debit cards and smart phones/tablets bought in US, and only inside the US territory. It already has a large number of online and brick-and-mortar merchants on board and is working towards signing up a lot more. Google says that it’ll soon have over 700,000 store locations and around 1,000 Android apps accepting Android Pay as a valid form of payment.


One of the most commonly-accepted form of digital payments in the US and across the world, Paypal is presently accepted by around 40% of all retailers spread over North America. It is also the most regularly used digital wallet by a large majority of users. In fact, 79% respondents in a survey carried out by Statista revealed that they had actively used PayPal digital wallet for making payments.

Having over 173 million users in 203 countries, and direct dealings in 26 different currencies, PayPal is also easily amongst the most trusted and popular payment processing companies throughout the world. In fact, it’s one of the pioneers of the digital wallet services. Not only can you store your credit/debit card info on your PayPal digital wallet, you can even link your bank accounts directly to it, allowing you to carry a balance wherever you go. The PayPal wallet app can be downloaded free of cost on any of the smart phones and tablets running Windows, Android or Apple OS.

It is mostly used for making online payments and is accepted by around 74% of all the big online retailers in the United States. However, it doesn’t enjoy the same kind of penetration in the brick-and-mortar establishments. You can use PayPal mobile wallet for making in-app purchases too. It’s the only mobile wallet that you can use for making merchant payments and for person-to-person transfers as well.

Paypal is easily the best mobile payment medium for you if you do most of your shopping on the internet.

Samsung Pay

Available only with the newer Samsung Galaxy phones like Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 Edge+, Samsung Pay is a mobile payment medium that works with both the modern-day NFC systems and the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) terminals conventionally used by the chip-based cards. It makes use of the MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology that mimics the traditional magnetic stripe on the cards. Hence, you can use it with almost any card reader. However, it can’t be used at self-checkout terminals, gas pumps and a large number of ATMs where it’s necessary to insert the card and not just swipe it.

Samsung Pay can accommodate up to 10 different debit/credit cards and works with all major US banks including US Bank, Chase and the Bank of America. Just like Android Pay and Apple Pay, Samsung Pay also secures its transactions using the tokenization method. Apart from that, it also employs fingerprint authentication for payment authorizations. Although it doesn’t have as many retail and banking establishments on board as some of its competitors right now, it has tie-ups with some of the biggest brand names in the business. What sets it apart from its competition is its dual MST and NFC technology.

Capital One Wallet

This is a free to download mobile wallet app compatible with both Android and Apple devices. However, it can only be used with debit and credit cards issued by Capital One 360 and Capital One Bank. Just like other prominent mobile wallets, you can tap and pay with your smart phone using this app, provided that the merchant has a contactless card reader.

This mobile payment product has many useful features that can help you keep constant track of your spending. It shows the corresponding merchant name, its address and contact details on a map after every transaction. You can even use its built-in feature for taking a picture of your paper receipt and then attach it to its corresponding transaction. This feature can be highly useful in times when you wish to return an item but can’t locate its paper receipt.

It doesn’t store any of your personal financial details on the phone and logs out automatically after a few minutes of inactivity. You can choose any of the Touch ID, SureSwipe or PIN options for authenticating your transactions. It’s an excellent mobile payment product if you carry capital one cards and use them regularly.

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You love to shop until you drop, am I right? If I’m wrong, well, just pretend you do. Let’s say you’re tired of carrying around that huge, heavy purse of yours. I mean, you still need the strength to carry around all of those shopping bags!

You’ve recently discovered there is a way to pay for all of your purchases without using a wallet; your smart phone! Thank the high Heavens for that, am I right? You no longer need to carry around your purse or wallet; just your phone! How much better can life get? Let me stop you there and ask: Have you ever stopped and wondered how safe mobile payments are? We put so much trust into these little screens with our credit card information. You never actually stop to wonder how safe it really is.

We have hackers who hack into our personal computers every day. What’s so different about a smart phone? They would just need to break through a small firewall and steal every bit of information you have! Let’s admit it; we have just about all of our information on our smart phones. Let’s use Google Play as an example. You have a game you’re absolutely addicted to, and you can’t help but to spend money on it! Your credit card information is already saved to Google; all you need to do is type in your password. Think about it. Are mobile payments really as safe as they make them to be? Read on, my friends.



In all of the countries combined, the United States carries more than half of the credit card frauds! Credit card frauds are no joke! I’m sure each and every one of you has had some sort of credit card fraud happen to you at least once! I know I have.

Get this. It was recorded back in 2012 that $500 million was spent through mobile wallet apps! That’s more than you thought, am I right? It’s already been predicted that by 2017, that sum will boost up to $35 billion! How do you feel about that? That’s how much trust we put into our mobile devices.

There’s an app called Venmo that was recently started up from PayPal. You’re able to send money to your friends and family via email, just like most wallet apps. It was recently confirmed that Venmo processes hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions each month, and that Venmo recently had to apologize to customers because they were complaining about nothing being done about fraudulent activity. It’s been said that Venmo can take about two full days to get back to their customers who are complaining about fraud. That might not be so bad, except they have a strict policy that costumers only have 48 hours to file a complaint about fraud before they lose their liability protection. How crazy is that?



There are some things you should probably take into account. I know we’re talking about mobile payments here, but let’s take a break and talk about the actual phone. How vulnerable are you to fraud? Say you’re waiting for a flight to Las Angeles; and you’re waiting patiently. You get hungry after hours of waiting, so you decide to get a snack. There’s a store directly across from where you were sitting, so you leave all of your belongings. You’ll only take a second, right? Someone runs up to grab your phone; and they take off. There you go; this complete stranger now has access to all the information in your phone.

Let’s say this doesn’t happen. You’re still sitting down in your chair at the airport, and you’re enjoying the free WiFi. You’re using a public network that most likely has no firewall protection. It’ll be super easy for hackers to catch all the information in your phone, simply by hacking in through the same network. Now, every password or username and email that’s being typed; they’re recording it. Boom, they have access to all your personal information, credit cards included.

Another example would be that you use all these different wallet apps, and you play all these different games you pay for. They’re all made from different companies with different types of software. You’re basically setting yourself up for fraud since each of these apps can have their own potential vulnerabilities! Just remember how vulnerable your cell phone is, and be extra careful with your information.



My advice to you would be to keep track of your transactions. My mother has taught me to check my bank account every day. She checks hers at least three or four times throughout her day. I know what you’re thinking; she’s a little crazy. I usually think the same thing; however, she’s usually right on top of fraud the second it happens. You can never be too careful. Most banks actually have their own apps, so it would only take seconds to check your balance and make sure everything is right where you left it. I recommend only checking your bank when you’re either at home, or through your data. I never check my bank account while I’m connected to someone else’s WiFi that isn’t my own, and neither should you. Mobile Data is extremely safe, so you’re able to put all of your trust into it, especially main carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. You never hear about mobile data being hacked, but you hear about public WiFi hacking users on a daily basis. So really, the main thing you really need to worry about while making mobile payments is the network you’re on.



There are quite a few steps you can take when making mobile payments. You already know some of them; like using a trustworthy network and watching your bank statements. Let’s talk about a few other steps you should take to avoid fraud.

Try sticking with the popular sites and apps! Would you trust shopping on a website called “”? Um, I would hope not; but you probably trust the main sites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay and PayPal? Yes, of course you trust them! Maybe not always what’s being sold; but you trust them with your online wallet, right?

Here’s another tip; try reading reviews and ratings before downloading a new app. There are usually great reviews being written each and every day! If that app only has two and a half stars, look into why the ratings are so low. If everyone is saying they’ve been scammed and had their money stolen; don’t download the app. I feel like not many people actually think about searching reviews for tips on scammers. They just look at the app description and download! When it comes to your wallet, you should always be as cautious as you can.

So, to answer our original question; mobile payments are safe; only to an extent. If you’re cautious and use your head to make smart choices, then you won’t have to worry too much about how safe your mobile payments really are.

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Are Mobile Payments the Way of the Future?

With a smart phone or tablet in the hands of nearly everyone you see, and the thousands of apps that are appearing every day, it seems like only a matter of time before interacting with real people becomes obsolete. Between texting, email and the plethora of apps that we use each day, our smart phones and tablets seem to be taking over.

Although this might be a problem when it comes to interpersonal communication, it really has become quite a benefit when it comes to staying organized, managing money and generally keeping track of one’s life. One thing that seems to be emerging as a strong positive for the digital world is the option of making digital payments to credit cards, banks, or online merchants. Whether at a physical store or while shopping online, paying for purchases without ever laying hands on bills or coins is becoming the norm.

New Habits are Forming

As people become more and more attached to their mobile devices, they are relying heavily on using them to access everything. From checking email and social media, to using scannable coupons and QR codes, to taking pictures of desired items in a physical retail location and then shopping online when they get home, smart phones and tablets are becoming something most people cannot imagine living without.

Online Payment Options Increase Convenience

Everybody is looking for convenience these days. If something can be made simpler, then it is very attractive. Making payments using your mobile phone or tablet, through an app, is something many people are interested in. With a couple clicks, you can easily transfer money or make payments to nearly anyone you do business with. Just about every bank has mobile apps now, as well as nearly every credit card company.

Major banks, such as Bank of America, Citibank and even many local banks are offering mobile banking apps for customers to track their accounts and make payments and transfers, right fro their mobile devices. Credit card companies, like Capital One, Discover and American Express offer mobile apps for the same types of transactions. For those who like to stay on top of their finances, mobile banking is truly a gift and a major convenience.

When you can make a payment to anyone, from anywhere, at any time, it becomes something that will definitely take hold. It is highly unlikely that the trend toward mobile banking and mobile payments will slow anytime soon.

Younger Generation Even More Likely to Use Mobile

Although digital technology technically knows no age limits, older adults (even those embracing technology) are more likely to continue to write the occasional check or use the customary electronic banking options offered through the internet, but the younger generations are becoming more and more connected to mobile devices, with some using only these devices to access the internet without even ever opening a laptop or firing up the desktop PC. Sales of paper checks are way down, because most people write only a few per month and rarely re-order them because they last so long.

Mobile Apps at Retail Locations

Many retail locations are taking advantage of this trend, like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Home Depot, Walgreens and Best Buy allowing customers to take advantage of the ability to pay with a mobile phone online or even at a register, check for stock and make appointments for service. Even most of the main department and chain stores are getting on the bandwagon with mobile payments and apps, allowing customers the opportunity to shop, check stock, order and even make payments on their accounts or make payments for purchases, right from their mobile device.

The Way of the Future?

There is no reason to think that mobile apps are not going to continue to rise, with payment options and the other features offered, particularly as it relates to the younger demographic segments of the population. Anything that can make a transaction easier is going to be highly attractive, for both shoppers and merchants. As our world becomes more and more digital, mobile payments are only one way that people are going to be using their smart phones and tablets to take care of their business.

At this point, growth in this area is still new and the future is still a bit mysterious. Just think, who would have dreamed up the idea of smart phones only twenty years ago? Most people would have never believed the technology that would be available today. So, the answer to the question of whether or not mobile payments are the way of the future is a solid “Yes!” with the additional comments that it is only the beginning of the mobile generation and there are plenty more exciting things to come.