If you haven’t already heard, the newest feature from tech giant Apple is a cash- and card-less payment system aimed at revolutionizing the way you shop. It’s called ApplePay.
The concept itself isn’t new; other companies have been offering versions of a mobile wallet for several years. The fact that we haven’t seen a massive switch to pay-by-phone (a 21st century redefinition of the term payphone, perhaps?) shows that this type of feature either isn’t deemed useful or safe enough by the majority of smartphone users. Still, Apple hopes that by adding their own twist and reputation, iPhone customers will become mobile payers.
Here’s what you need to know about ApplePay:
How Does ApplePay Work?
Similar to other mobile wallet apps such as Soft Card, Amazon Wallet, Google Wallet, and Cellarix, ApplePay utilizes technology known as NFC (Near Field Communication). This means that instead of requiring your credit card number, registers with NFC-enabled components automatically detect the special chip in your phone and process your payment using “tokens.”
Unlike debit and credit card readers, which store numbers and are more susceptible to hackers, NFC technology protects your private information — because it never actually leaves your personal device.
Is ApplePay Secure?
The mere use of the advanced NFC payment system dramatically increases the security of ApplePay and other mobile wallet apps.
Currently, the biggest security risk with ApplePay is irresponsible users letting their phones get into the wrong hands. Knowing that your phone allows for cashless transactions and holds a wealth of your personal information should be enough motivation to keep it close and utilize password features. You should also maintain careful control of your account information on iCloud; as with any other site that stores personal information, it represents some risks to security.
Of course, with any new technology, it is only a matter of time before hackers discover and exploit its vulnerabilities. However, the newer the technology, the longer it takes them to work around the system, and the longer security technology experts have to create counter-protections. In any case, ApplePay is far more secure than your credit card.
Should You Switch to ApplePay?
Security experts insist mobile pay is a far safer way to protect your financial information. Hackers are becoming increasingly adept at overcoming advanced security protections used by the majority of retailers (as demonstrated by the Target and Home Depot breaches), and the United States is known for being lax about identity and anti-theft protocols with credit cards.
The biggest challenge to using ApplePay may be the lack of retailers who offer NFC technology — but if anyone can increase the usage of a mobile wallet app, it’s Apple.
Do you use any type of mobile pay application? Are you planning on using ApplePay?