Many companies are trying hard to replace physical wallets with NFC based mobile payment systems. Google, Samsung and Apple all have tried going down this path, but kept on failing miserably.They were unable to secure a rich ecosystem for such payments, and as such the technology never actually took off.
Last year as well, Apple introduced their passbook, an application that could store credit card information, for all of a user’s cards, in one safe place. It was supposed to ease payments for their users. But in the absence of the widely adopted NFC technology, Apple couldn’t gain much friction for their service. There even was a dearth of retailers and developers that would accept Apple’s way of payment, and as such, people ended up disregarding the Passbook, akin to every other firm in the business.
This year, Apple has returned with the same concept, but with much better planning and appeal. Apple has finally equipped their phones with NFC antennas and have struck record deals with major retailers all over the US. In today’s event, Apple enlightened users about the security and convenience factors associated with this new service, which they call ‘Apple Pay’.
*Conventional Credit and debit cards have exposed account numbers, outdated magstripes, and vulnerable security codes, giving air to fraudulent activities.
* When a user adds a card to his passbook, its number is never stored nor shared on their device or Apple servers. Also, the card is kept away from cashiers and not even Apple knows what all is bought with the card. Utmost privacy is what they endorse here.
* Instead of the fixed codes that can be easily located at the back of the card, every transaction is authorized with a one-time unique number ensuring maximum security and minimum risks.
* When a person loses a physical card, he is forced to report the same and freeze out all payments for the card in order to prevent misuse. But with Apple pay, if someone loses their iPhone, they only have to block payments for that singular device using a dedicated app, and rest all would remain unaffected.
Thus, Apple promises a lot of crucial, yet often overlooked security measures with Apple Pay.
* Resolves the hassles associated with carrying multiple physical cards. There would just be, this one passbook app, which would be housing in all the relevant information, thus keeping the procedure simple and clean.
*Payments can be executed in the blink of an eye, making use of the fingerprint scanner housed in the touch ID. All that would be required is a quick little tap with the NFC chip.
* Getting started with Apple pay is easy. Any card already used in the iTunes store can be easily added to the passbook. New cards can also be added with ease, simply by taking a picture of the new card with the iSight camera (although certain unspecified safeguards would obviously be employed for the same)
Thus If Apple Pay takes off, making payments would become much more convenient than ever before, leading to greater sales for the merchants and optimum satisfaction for the consumer.
Passbook is set to launch in the US first, starting October 2014. They have already struck deals with all the three major payment networks namely MasterCard, Visa and American Express. They have also partnered with many top American banks such as Barclays, Citi, Bank of America etc. that are manipulating more than 83% of the credit demand in The States. In order to secure greater penetration, Apple has entered into relationships with many vendors at the floor level as well.
This time, it really seems as if Apple has succeeded in creating an indispensable ecosystem for the technology. The NFC antenna to make contactless offline payments possible, TouchID to secure payments and the convenience of passbook to handle both online and offline tasks with ease. They surely have established a network, and they deserve due praise for the same
These bold ventures ongoing since the past 2 years would help pave the way for Google Wallet to secure an active user base. They have constantly been intruded courtesy a series of failed negotiations and licensing restrictions. With more and more people using Apple Pay and other modes of contactless payments, the consumer want for, and trust in the same, is only going to grow. The Cupertino giant have snatched another win here!