Gone are the days when you have to swipe your credit/debit card to make a purchase. Now your credit card can sit in your wallet as an accessory thanks to Apple Pay. Apple Pay is not the first mobile wallet. Other companies have tried and failed miserably at it. But this is all to change, thanks to Apple’s superior brand partnerships and security mechanisms.
Apple Pay is Apple’s new mobile service which allows you make payments using your fingerprint through the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5s, 6 and the 6+. It was made available with the iOS 8.1 update and is used to make payments using your debit or credit card which is stored on your phone in the ‘Passbook’ app. While making payments you do not need to put in a pin or anything but the same is authenticated using your fingerprint which makes it very convenient to make purchases. In convenience stores which have NFC Enabled payment counters, you can easily pay using your finger. It not only saves a lot of time, but also adds a layer of security, now that you do not have to give the card number to the person who handles the payment. You can also pay with the Apple Watch when it releases. Let’s look at how to set it up and some of the features of Apple Pay.
Banks that support Apple Pay
As of now, only a few banks support Apple Pay and some banks like Wells Fargo give you $20 if you have their credit card or $10 if you have their debit card to try out how Apple Pay works! Awesome right? These are the banks which support Apple Pay as of now, with many more to be added to the list:
|Personal credit cards||Personal
|America First Credit Union||✓||✓|
|Bank of America||✓||✓|
|BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust)||✓||✓|
|Black Hills Federal Credit Union||✓|
|Dupaco Community Credit Union||✓|
|First Tennessee Bank||✓||✓|
|Idaho Central Credit Union||✓||✓|
|L & N Federal Credit Union||✓|
|National Institutes of Health FCU||✓||✓|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||✓||✓|
|TD Bank N.A.||✓||✓|
|UW Credit Union||✓||✓|
Let’s look at how to set it up
- Open the Passbook app and select “Set up Apple Pay”
- Choose “Add a new Credit or Debit Card”
- If you have your debit card on hand, you can fill out the information using the phones camera
- Agree to the terms and conditions and then you will be guided to the verification process to enable Apple Pay for the card. Some apps require a call to be made, others have an app to verify the same
Using Apple Pay
Apple claims it has partnerships with 220,000 stores including Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Duane, McDonalds, Nike, Subway etc. and there are many other stores signing up too. Actually, in the US, Apple is also signing up with companies like Chevron to enable a person to pay at fuel stops.
If you find an NFC enabled store with the digital wallet sign on it, chances are that you can make a payment using Apple Pay. All that needs to be done is to approach a ‘point of sale’ machine compatible with Apple pay, and the display will awaken automatically and directly in the Passbook app, where a user can then tap on the credit card to be used or choose to pay with the default card. A complete payment is denoted by a vibration followed by a check mark on the screen and a beep. In some cases, a pin may be asked by the user to authenticate the payment.
If you want to buy an app on the app store you can do it the same way using Apple Pay, if it has been setup on your device. In retail, you just simply need to observe these signs to use Apple Pay –
How it works
Apple uses a dedicated chip called the Secure Element to keep the payment information, card numbers and similar data safe. This data is never uploaded to iCloud or Apple’s servers and is stored locally. When a transaction is attempted, the Device Account Number is sent through NFC sensors, along with a unique one time security code. This security code which replaces the CVV, is locally encrypted every time and is meant to ensure that the payment is being made from the registered Apple device only. Thus, it safe, secure, spam free and way faster and easier than other forms of payment.
Expansion to other countries: When will Apple pay come to India?
Apple Pay is expanding to other European countries soon because a lot European countries have NFC enabled shops already. It will expand rapidly now that Apple has this secure system available. Also, according to various leaks on the internet, Apple Pay is expanding soon to China as well. That means India isn’t far either. Also, according to a few sources, Apple Pay works in countries like Australia, UK and UAE if the card is American based.
Future of Apple Pay
The technology involved in Apple Pay is secure and allows a customer to maintain his confidentiality. It is getting simpler, easier and faster to pay using Apple Pay and is efficient than Google Wallet because Apple Pay requires fingerprint authentication to confirm the transaction. This makes it safer, easier and faster to make payments than other technologies.
Apple Pay will take time to merge into markets like India and China because many people still do not believe in using online payments and online shopping and more than that it is the illiteracy about such products in these countries which prohibits such markets from going forward. More so, as of right now, an iPhone 6+ costs north of 60,000 INR (almost 1000 USD) which is very expensive for most Indian smartphone users. And so is the case with almost 80% of the world. Thus it is Apple and Apple alone, simultaneously limiting and enhancing this not so unique a service.