As most tech-minded people probably know, Apple launched its brick-and-mortar payment system last year to much fanfare. Similar to Google Wallet, Apple Pay uses a near field communication (NFC) antenna to transfer funds to a retailer via a contactless payment terminal. In plain English, you can pay for something by holding your iPhone near a gadget that accepts your payment wirelessly.
There are quite a few perks to using Apple Pay. These are the top three…
It’s so easy to use. Apple Pay stores all of your credit cards, or as many as you want to input via the Passbook app, in your phone. The data is transferred securely when you make a purchase, and is protected by Apple’s fingerprint scanner. What’s more, when you first sign up for Apple Pay, you enter your Apple ID and the system offers to set up whatever credit card is already associated with your account. When using it within apps for shopping, it can even pull your shipping address so you don’t have to enter it in all those tiny fields on your phone. Apple’s signature characteristic of letting users figure things out intuitively holds with Apple Pay, making it easy for even grandma to use.
It’s more secure than credit or debit cards. We’ve all heard the stories about hackers stealing credit card information by infiltrating the scanning systems at retail checkout registers – and this includes some of the country’s biggest store chains. It’s become shockingly obvious that the magnetic strip system doesn’t provide enough security. The Apple Pay model works with the NFC (near field communications) system, which is already widespread in European countries. All told, it’s simply a much more secure way to buy things (other than cash, of course).
It’s universal. By late this year, retailers in the US will be required to support chip-based credit cards. Those who don’t comply will take on the liability of possible fraudulent transactions (which the credit card companies currently take on). This paves the way even further for Apple Pay, making it possible to use in any location where the chip system is supported. Imagine being able to wave your iPhone to pay that taxi fare at the end of a late night out, or to pick up your coffee or lunch when you’re in a hurry, or during the holidays – the possibilities are endless.
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