Apple Pay – What’s the story?

Contactless payment systems are gaining popularity and today it is an almost plausible scenario that you could leave you wallet at home or at least leave your debit and credit cards in you wallet.


Apple Pay is Apple’s version of a contactless payment system and a simple touch of your Apple device will authorize payments either in store or online for app purchases using Touch ID.


Payments from your MasterCard, Visa or American Express can be made securely with your iPad, iPhone or Apple Watch (due for release in early 2015). Apple Pay is available in thousands of stores and the biggest names include Toys’R’us, Disney, Foot Locker, Subway, Nike and McDonald’s.


How to set up Apple Pay


Passbook already saves your boarding passes, coupons and tickets so you only need to complete one extra step which is adding your debit or credit card information. This process is really easy and you can add the card from your iTunes account by simply entering the card security code


Adding the card to your Apple iPhone 6, iPad mini 3 or iPad Air 2 can be done by going to settings, open Passbook & Apple Pay and then tap Add Credit or Debit Card. On the iPhone you can also add your card by opening Passbook and then swiping down and tapping the + sign. You can then use the iSight camera to capture your card details automatically.


How secure is Apple Pay?


Security concerns always surround new technologies but Apple Pay doesn’t warrant such concerns as it is even safer than physically paying with your credit or debit card.


Apple Pay offers an extra layer of security as your actual card numbers are not used. Instead a unique Device Account Number is assigned to your account, encrypted and saved on your Secure Element chip which is located within your Apple iPhone or iPad. This means that your card numbers are not stored on Apple’s servers. An additional benefit is that the cashier at the point of sale also doesn’t see your debit or credit card so they do not see your card number, name and security code.


Your card numbers are not shared by Apple with the merchant and not transmitted with the payment. Instead the Device Account Number and a transaction specific dynamic security code is used. Your transaction information is stored in Passbook and not held by Apple. Should your device be lost or stolen then you can use Find My iPhone to place it into Lost Mode which suspends Apple Pay and you can even completely wipe the device.


So, as you can see Apple Pay can be set up in a few easy steps and this is all that is required to increase your payment security and get onboard with contactless payments. Just look out for the Apple Pay logos to find participating retail outlets or select Apple Pay in the payment options when making in app purchases.


Written by: Michael Brown

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