Could Apple Pay revolutionise payments?

Apple, Mobile phones

We’ve had NFC wireless payments for a few years now, but could Apple have just made the technology actually viable?


The rumours were true – Apple has come up with a payment system. With iOS8 and the iPhone 6, you’ll be able to save your credit cards to your iOS Passbook, and pay for stuff in shops by swiping your phone.

Apple already has a massive headstart on this, as it has millions of people’s credit card details saved on iTunes already – but if your card isn’t saved on there, or if you want to add another all you have to do is take a photo of your card.

Brilliantly, at no point is your card numbed saved on the device – the iPhone 6 has a special “secure element” which instead stores temporary tokens to make the transaction happen direct between your bank and the merchant. The upshot of this is that if your phone gets stolen, you’ll just have to deactive the temporary code in Find My iPhone and you won’t even have to cancel your cards.

Similarly securely, Apple claims that it won’t be able to see what you buy, or how much you’re spending – and crucially your data doesn’t go the shop you’re buying stuff from too.

And to make it fully secure? It’s all confirmed through TouchID when you make the payment.

The Apple Pay technology will even work in apps too – so expect to see more shopping apps with “Check out with Apple Pay”, which will allow you to buy stuff in one click (you won’t even have to enter your shipping address). Apparently companies already signed up include taxi upstarts Uber.

As with all tricky payment tech it appears roll out will be slow – Apple Pay is currently on set to launch in the US. We’ll let you know when it comes to the UK.

James O’Malley
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