The revolutionary Apple Pay allows consumers using Apple phones to buy items by simply holding your device up to readers installed by merchants, while keeping your finger on the Touch ID sensor to verify the owner. Apple Pay is far more secure than using a physical card because Apple Pay uses “payment tokens”, which are randomly created numbers that your mobile device uses for transactions.
The Apple Pay is intermixed with Passbook where you can already store your movie tickets, passports and coupons, now you can add your credit and debit cards too.
I want to make this clear. Your actual credit account information – card number, expiration date. etc – isn’t actually stored on your phone. Instead, it is stored as a unique account number that is kept in a chip on the iPhone6. This means that your personal information is not transmitted from your phone to the merchant. Furthermore, a one-time use payment token, known as tokenization, is created from that encrypted number and doesn’t leave any credit card footprint.
Let me put it this way. You’re entertaining and need beer and popcorn for your Home Theater. (Pretty badass theater we installed for you. Isn’t it?) You run up to the grocery store, get the things you need and proceed to the check out line. The clerk rings your items and you whip out your handy, dandy electronic wallet. You place your finger on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and tap your iPhone to the reader. Ta-Da! You’ve securely made your purchase. You didn’t even have to open any apps, or even turn on your screen.
It’s Much Safer to Use Apple Pay Than Swiping Your Credit Card
The cool part is, by paying with Apple Pay, the grocery store didn’t get any of your information because your credit card information was transformed into a special, secret number only kept in a chip on your phone. The only trace you left behind of your purchase was a payment token that tells the merchant what type of credit card you used; Visa, MasterCard or American Express.
This is significant because your personal account number is never stored is Apple’s servers, therefore it’s safe from online attacks. No credit card information is exchanged! The only information the business will have is what type of card you used. Not your name. Not your credit card number. Nothing. If the merchants systems are breached, hackers wont have access to any of your personal information. This is huge!
Why would Apple succeed with Apple Pay where Google failed with Google Wallet?
Now there’s the big question. After doing some research, I came up with a few simple answers.
Google took an all-hands-in approach with their payment system. With Google Wallet you are transforming your credit card into their own standardized credit card. Now there are some ups and downs with doing it this particular way. I’ll let you decipher which is the up, or down. First, unlike with Apple, you can use whatever credit card you like. Second, Google can see all transactions made, whereas Apple can not. This allows Google to learn more about its users. That means that Google can take an active role in a nonpayment information exchange. An example of this is the Starbucks App. You can have your favorite coffee made for you, at your favorite Starbucks location, any time you enter the store. Apple Pay can’t do that, because Apple Pay won’t be tracking your transactions.
Apple Pay Uses Encryption
Moreover, as stated before, Apple has taken the approach to make Apple Pay safe by encrypting your credit and debit card numbers. However, Google Wallet has 24/7 fraud monitoring. Apple Pay has private purchasing, Google Wallet does not. Apple Pay requires Touch ID fingerprint to verify user, Google requires a PIN to verify user. With the Find my iPhone app, Apple Pay allows you to remotely access your phone to wipe it clean if lost or stolen. Google Wallet allows you to remotely disable Google Wallet via your Google Wallet account. So you pick which one is more secure.
Where some 40 million account holders were compromised by the hackers infiltrated Targets accounts, 56 million Home Depot account holders had their data breached. Apple is taking the next step towards securing your delicate information. The problem is that hackers are always going to find the weak link in the chain, but it’s important for you to protect your hard work. Don’t just be a statistic.
Apple Pay will be available on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus beginning in October. The app works with major Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit and debit cards, and will be accepted at more than 220,000 stores. Participating banks include Bank of America, Chase, Capital One, Citi and Wells Fargo, with US Bank, PNC and other banks to follow.