Apple Pay: Your New Wallet!

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Some of us carry a mini cabinet, with numerous cards, in the name of a wallet. In 2011, Google demonstrated its Google Wallet at a press conference. It used the Near Field Communication (NFC) to make secure payments. If Apple makes their promise made in Cupertino come true, its Apple Pay will truly be a game changer in the world of digital payment. But what could Apple possibly do different compared to Google Wallet? Let’s see.

How does it work?

“Your wallet. Without a wallet.” Claims Apple.

Contactless payment technology has been a major breakthrough and Apple doesn’t seem to be far behind. You can use your iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad to make payments in a simple, secure and private way. You can add as many credit and debit cards as you’d like into your Apple Pay system.

While making a payment, you need to select a card from Passbook and hold the phone at the payment terminal with your finger on the Touch ID. It almost seems like a ‘one-motion-payment’. You’ll notice that there is no need for you to open an app or flash your iPhone display.

Apple Pay makes complete use of the NFC antenna in iPhone 6. Hold it right there! You need not even check/look into your iPhone to see if the transaction was successful or not. iPhone will notify you with a vibration and a beep. Don’t stare at your wallet yet; it is not your iPhone 6 with Apple Pay.

In 2011, when Google Wallet was launched, the mobile payment infrastructure was in its nascent stage. The process of setting up a payment is lot easier with Apple Pay. You don’t have to enter as many details as were required for Google.

Google Wallet also requires you to open apps and enter PIN to make a successful payment. Apple has truly taken advantage of the NFC technology to implement simple tap-to-pay function.

Features

On October 20th 2014, Apple Pay was released to the public.  If you are an iPhone 6 and 6 Plus user, you can make payments for goods and services with Apple Pay. The latest range of products from Apple including iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will be capable of using Apple Pay.

Apple employs a method known as “Tokenization” to ensure all transactions are secure with Apple Pay. Touch ID is used to secure payments.  Payments get authenticated by a finger that is registered with the Touch ID. Apple Pay is more secure than transacting with credits cards. You will never have to share your account details with anyone.

Setting up Apple Pay is easy. Apple Pay uses Passbook that stores the details of your credit card. You can add details of additional credit or debit card by clicking pictures of your card. It is a one-time setup. Tokenization and Touch ID feature makes Apple Pay secure with several in-built security features.

Apple has partnered with global credit card companies to ensure Apple Pay is a successful venture.  Visa, MasterCard and American Express have tied up with Apple.  Majority of the card volume is handled by these global giants and hence your transactions will pass through smoothly.

In addition to tie up with banks, Apple has also struck deals with retail stores to support NFC technology. As of now, Apple claims that Apple Pay will work in more than 220,000 locations where contactless payment options are available.  Bloomingdales, McDonald’s, Disney stores, and Office Depot are some of Apple’s retail partners who support payment via Apple Pay.

Ever since its launch in October, Apple Pay has been quite successful. Users of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are enthused by the prospects of paying through Apple Pay’s contactless technology. It is believed that Apple Pay accounted for more than 50% of contactless mobile payment transactions at MacDonald’s since its launch. Support for Apple Pay is yet another reason to grab the iPhone 6! Next time you shop, you could tap-to-pay for your goods with your iPhone.

While Apple Pay has excited millions of iPhone users around the world, it can’t be said that there are no opponents to the idea. The National Association of Convenience, an organization with considerable clout in influencing the probable success of Apple Pay, is dead square against the idea. You can read more about that ongoing duel here.

About the Author
Michelle, author at Mach Machines. A tech lover and an insatiable latte drinker. Michelle blogs about improving the personal computing experience.

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