On Tuesday, Apple announced the brand new Apple Pay, a new feature that uses your iPhone to electronically pay for goods and services instead of a traditional credit or debit card. Here are some ways that it’s useful and efficient for people to use:
It’s vastly more secure than bank cards
Your average debit and credit card uses a magnetic strip along the side with a unique 16-digit number. When you swipe your card through a cashier’s card reader, the reader copies and sends your number to your bank for verification before the transaction is done. Because your card is unique, anyone who can access your card number can use your information. Your only option is to call the bank and report fraudulent charges before your bank account is drained.
Apple Pay uses far more complex security for transactions
Instead of relying on one number, your iPhone uses “tokenization”, which can generate a random 16-digit number alongside your real 16-digit number, verify and confirm the two, and send the random number into the card reader to complete the transaction. Your iPhone will generate a completely new 16-digit number for every purchase you make, so hackers will never be able to break into your code and access your bank account.
In addition, none of your financial information is stored in Apple’s servers or on your iPhone. According to Apple, the company does not and will not keep track of any purchases made with your iPhone. Your information will always be secure.
Your iPhone can be used at different stores around the world
Apple Pay will be used at stores and establishments throughout the world, and at any retailer with an Apple Pay-compatible register. Whole Foods, McDonald’s Subway and Sephora are some of the businesses that are ready to accept iPhone as a means of payment. Unlike in traditional card transactions, the cashier will never ask for your iPhone to enter information, nor scan the iPhone by themselves. You will have total control over you phone at all times during the transaction. McDonald’s has even announced a special drive-thru pay terminal where uses will be able to tap and connect your iPhone to pay for a meal. Convenient banking, indeed.
And if you happen to lose your phone, you will be able to log into iCloud and suspend any payments, then be able to secure your phone so you can track it down.
Apple has announced a lot for this new mechanism, and details are still coming in. It’s very likely that all of the bugs haven’t yet been worked out of the system, and Apple is still fine-tuning the basics even as this article goes to press. Stay tuned for all the latest updates and information as it happens.