When it comes to mobile technology, Apple has always been on the front lines. It brought about a revolution with the iPhone which it has continued to perfect. Now, it is entering the world of mobile payments with its Apple Pay venture. Launched in September 2014, Apple Pay is already proving to be a disruptive business.
What is Apple Pay?
It is a digital wallet and mobile payment service that allow users to make payments using the Apple Watch and certain iPhone and iPad devices. This service has the benefits of faster checkout in stores, increased payment security and more convenience.
Apple Pay currently works in two environments; in physical stores that accept it as a method of payment and within certain apps such as Houzz and Airbnb. In stores, only three devices are can be used with Apple Pay; iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. These are the only devices with the NFC antenna required for Apple Pay to work. It is important to also note that Apple Watch can only be used when it is paired to an a iPhone 5 or later model.
In-apps you can use iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. This is because they have a touch ID sensor which allows authentication of purchases.
As for the operating system, your device needs to have iOS 8.1 or later.
How Apple Pay will Change the World
1) Reduced use of magnetic cards
During the launch of Apple Pay, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, emphasized on the outdated magnetic card technology. He cited the outstanding security issues that this technology poses and positioned Apple Pay as a solution.
So far, Apple Pay has gained a lot of popularity and is a real threat to the existence of the traditional debit and credit cards. Though Apple may not be able to completely replace these cards as a method of payment, it will become the dominant payment method.
2) Increased security for both retailers and customers
Recent data breaches at major retailers like Target has brought to attention the high risk of data breaches targeting customer information collected by retailers. Such attacks are on the increase and the implementation of tighter security does not seem to deter these breaches. This is because the numerous credit card and personal information stores have on customers are a major motivation.
Apple Pay on the other hand does not divulge the customer’s credit card information to the retailer. Instead an encrypted dynamic security code unique to each transaction is used to authenticate. So there will never be a moment where customers’ data is at risk.
The biggest appeal by Apple Pay is its convenience. People no longer have to open their wallets and pull out their cards to complete a transaction. Using Apple Pay to make a payment at a store only takes a few seconds. This is bound to make customers happier and more willing to spend more, a plus for retailers.
4) Better technology
It may seem as if Apple Pay is the edge of mobile payment technology. But remember that even the first iPhone was just a small glimpse into what was to come. What Apple has done is not to create the ultimate technology but to spur the creation of even more advanced mobile payment systems. In a few years time, a better system may surpass Apple Pay and it will have Apple to thank.