It was inevitable… and at last Apple have announced they will be joining the contactless payments revolution. Their product is Apple Pay and it will be available on the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch from October in the US.
Apple are renowned worldwide for their attention to design and usability and they certainly appears to have applied these principles to Apple Pay. Ease of use and security are at the forefront of customers minds when it comes to contactless. Security is covered by TouchID fingerprint recognition combined with a ‘Secure Element’ chip.
To add a card to the Apple device users either take a photo or manually input the details and the info is stored in Passbook. Bank card details are encrypted and stored on the chip and when a payment is made the Device Account Number and security code passes to the payment terminal. Neither Apple nor the merchant have access to your card details as they are not stored on the Apple servers nor made available to the merchant.
Payments will be extremely simple, all the customer has to do is wave their device near the terminal and scan their finger or thumb print to complete a transaction. Each transaction creates a one time payment number. A vibration or pulse from the device lets customers know the payment has been made.
Apple Pay will be available in the US from October and Apple have announced partnerships with leading card providers and numerous retailers. The technology will be rolled out in the UK in 2015. Hopefully by this time any technical issues will have been ironed out and UK customers will have a convenient way to make NFC payments using their Apple devices.