Apple Pay - What exactly is it?
Paying With Your iPhone
Recent improvements in modern technology now mean that they are lots of different methods that you can use to pay for things. One of the latest ways is by using your iPhone instead of a debit or credit card. This basically works like a contactless payment except instead of using your plastic debit card you use your mobile phone.
This is all aimed at moving towards a point when you will no longer need to carry your wallet around with you. Instead of using cash or cards you will simply have all the information that you need stored securely on your phone. However many people still don't understand exactly how this all works and what the benefits and drawbacks are to using your phone as your payment method.
How does Apple Pay work?
Although Apple Pay may seem like a fairly complicated system, it actually works in a straightforward way. All you need to do is register your debit or credit card to your phone - this only works if you have an iPhone 6 or 6s. All you have to do is take a picture of your card whilst you have the "Passbook" app open or you can simply enter the details in manually.
Once you have done this all you need to do is use your phone in the same way that you would use a contactless payment on your card. Simply hold your phone up to a contactless payment reader and use your fingerprint on the home button to authorise your payment.
Where can you use this?
October 2014 was the first time that Apple Pay was introduced over in the USA, this was for iPhone 6 and 6s. It was introduced in 2015 for use across Europe.
Banks need to sign up for Apple Pay in order for their customers to be able to use it. This means that unless enough banks sign up, it may not go very far. However in the UK the pattern developing looks like it is similar to that in the US, the larger banks for the most part seem to be signing up fairly quickly with smaller banks being slower to make the change.
If your bank has signed up for Apple Pay, you can use the system by registering your card in the way described above, once you have done this you will be able to use your phone anywhere that you could use a contactless card. If you are buying something from a retailer that does not have a contactless payment, you will not be able to use your phone there.
Worries About Security
Many people have expressed worries over the security of Apple Pay, this is mainly down to the fact that there has been a high level of fraud reported on in the USA since it was first started.
It is important to know that this fraud does not come about as a result of poor security on Apple's part i.e. people hacking phones etc. Instead it seems that criminals are loading stolen information onto iPhone and then registering that card to their own fingerprint. Essentially you should not be too worried about your information being stolen over the Apple Pay system, instead if your information is stolen in other ways criminals may use Apple Pay to carry out transactions with your money.
Advantages of Apple Pay
Apple Pay's main attraction is purely one of convenience. The idea is that if you use this system to make purchases, you will not need to carry your wallet around or any cash. This also means that you don't need to worry about losing your wallet and people having access to your details. In addition to this you don't really need to worry if your phone is stolen because a criminal would not be able to get past the fingerprint scanner to use your card.