Pocketbook Sans Pocketbook – Apple Pay: What to Expect and What Not to

Finally it’s here!

– Apple’s very own mobile payment system – the Apple Pay app, a huge update to the iOS 8. As much as we’ll love it, iPhones are now turning more into credit cards, much for the frenzy of shopaholics. And they are calling it ‘contactless payment’. More fame to Apple! Cheers!

And how does it work?

Okay, to make this app work you’ll need an iPhone 6 or 6 plus with, of course, iOS 8.1. With older devices, you can surely forget about Apple Pay (Consider this to be a drawback). Also, you’ll need credit cards compatible with the app.

The good news is that this new app is being backed by a lot of American credit card issuers right now. Yes, major ones.

Any security issues?

Won’t say none. But, it’s so much better than losing your cards or carrying a piece of plastic with exposed numbers and an out-of-date magnetic strip interface (A pinch of whoa : The magnetic strip interface is a five decade old concept!).

And then, there are your security codes which are so easily breached these days. Time to ditch these and move on.

Apple Pay gives you a substitute account number so that your actual card number remains known exclusively and only to you (Even Apple shall have no hint of this). And to protect this substitute number, there comes in a verification code every time you go for a transaction. Even if someone gets an air of your substitute number, who’s going to tell him the unique verification code? It’s the end of his hacking spree (giggles)!

An unique Touch ID, better known as the Fingerprint ID, is the next – convenient and safe enough and they have included a new chip called the Secure Element, which stores and encrypts payment information – all for the hush-hush of your transactions and privacy.

But why iPhone 6 and 6 plus? Why not the older ones?

Because Apple Pay is the thing for iOS 8.1 which, in turn, is a thing for iPhone 6 and 6 plus. Huge dropshot, I’d say. Upgrading to iOS 8.1, just for the sake of an app? Duh!

There’s another point – the massive NFC antenna, which gets the nod only for these models and solely for the app as of now. Older models will need the futuristic Apple Watch, a bleh again. And sad enough, the company has not pulled up the gates for the developers to access the controls of this thing. And where else would you find the Secure Element?

Overall, Apple Pay has miles to go before it sleeps. Unless a huge mass of unorthodox merchants embrace this facility, what good would this app do? Just gnaw at a chunk of your iPhone memory maybe, what else?

A post by Chayanika Deka. 28th of October, 2014.


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