Last week, Apple released iOS 8.1 and along with it, its new mobile payments platform, Apple Pay. Apple Pay isn’t the first of its kind; companies like Google have provided the option to pay using your phone for years. Apple Pay however, is the first mobile payments service available to those that have the iPhone 6, or 6 Plus.
Right now, Apple Pay supports Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, in addition to a handful of national banks. If you have a smaller bank or credit union, chances are you’re out of luck for now. However, Apple says that 500 more banks will be on board by next year and notably Barclays, Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA, US Bank and PNC will be on-boarded later this year.
Getting set up on Apple Pay is easy
Once you’ve installed iOS 8.1 on your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, you simply add your credit cards to the service. Adding your card is as simple as taking a picture of it. The iPhone 6 camera will grab your card number and expiration date automatically. Once you’ve snapped a picture of your card, you just confirm the information, add the security code from the back of your card and you’re good to go!
Some banks like Bank of America may require a quick call to customer service to confirm. But all in all, that’s really all there is to it.
Start paying using your phone
Once you’ve gotten Apple Pay set up, and added your cards onto the service, all that’s left to do is test it out.
According to Apple, there are 220,000 stores and retailers that support Apple Pay. The mobile payment platform also works with mobile shopping apps.
Purchasing an item at Apple Pay’s launch partner stores, like Duane Reade drugstores and Macy’s, is as simple as holding the iPhone 6 in front of the credit card terminal and using your thumb to authenticate the purchase.
If you’re a city dweller, you’ll even be able to use Apple Pay to pay for cab rides. Apple Pay is fast and seamless, you don’t have to open an app, enter a PIN, or even wake your iPhone up from sleep mode. You just wave it in front of the pay terminal and authenticate the purchase with the Touch ID button.
Credit card security concerns
With countless retailers being hacked for our personal data, consumers naturally have reservations about this innovative new way of making purchases. However, with Apple Pay, the credit card data and fingerprint authentication are stored on a secure chip on the iPhone itself, making it much harder for a hacker to access any personal information.
Your name, credit card number, and security code are never shown to the retailer where you are shopping. In fact, Apple Pay could be making a difference in credit card security altogether. Only time will tell, but if so, this could be the most revolutionary part of the whole platform.
With all new technological advances, there are glitches.
According to CNN Tech reporter Samuel Burke, some users have reported being charged twice for single transactions made with the mobile payment service. Burke himself claimed that he was double billed for every Apple Pay purchase made with his Bank of America card. Multiple Twitter users reported the same problem, and coincidently seem to be banking with BofA.
Bank of America claims Apple Pay is responsible for the technical issue. However, in a recent statement, Bank of America apologized for the glitches and agreed to reimburse all duplicate charges made with Apple Pay. Apple on the other hand have no way of authenticating these reported duplicate charges because for security reasons, the company does not store any of its user’s personal data. Apple assured iPhone 6 users that a quick fix to this problem is underway.
The bottom line
Apple’s mobile payments service has some success, and some failures. Though Apple Pay is simple to use, there are still many places where mobile payments systems aren’t accepted, so don’t plan on leaving home without your wallet anytime soon. Until then, do get used to paying with your phone because the convenience of a mobile wallet will soon eclipse the use of cash and credit cards in the near future.
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