On October 20th Apple released its most recent feature, Apple Pay, a mobile payment service that will allow Apple users to instantly checkout at retail and online if they own an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch, iPad Air 2 or iPad Mini 3.
The service was announced by Apple CEO Tim Cook at the release of the iPhone 6 in September 9th and was described as an “easy, secure and private way to check out”. According to the Business Insider, the main purpose of the app is to turn a mobile device into a wallet with a simple update to the operating system, iOS 8.1.
The way Apple Pay works, consists on holding an iPhone or compatible device near the updated card reader with a thumb resting on the home button in order to verify the identity of the buyer. After the transaction is made, the phone vibrates and shows an image of the registered electronic credit or debit card used to pay. It is easy, fast and effective.
With Apple Pay, a unique Device Account Number is assigned and safely stored in a chip called Secure Element, included in the new iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. As stated by Apple, this DAN is never stored in apple servers, making it difficult for hackers to steal you card information. In other words, Apple never keeps your transaction information. Ever.
A review by Matt Swider from Tech Radar, explains Apple Pay has the ability to add multiple credit cards to a virtual wallet, and by just snapping a photo of the card it automatically fills in the card numbers and expiration date with no need of typing the information manually.
At the time of the launch, the new feature will be compatible with more than 200,000 vendors worldwide, including stores such as Macy’s, Whole Foods, American Eagle Outfitters, Target, Walgreen’s, Panera Bread, Subway and McDonald’s and will work with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express cards.
Bank of America, CITI, American Express, Wells Fargo, Capital One and Chase are the participating banks that are compatible with Apple Pay so far. Barclaycard, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, USAA and US Bank will add Apple Pay to their services later this year.
For Yahoo!, Apple Pay is the best thing the company has done in years, but will it truly redefine electronic payment in the next years?