Mobile Innovation, Smartphone News

The Pros and Cons of Apple Pay

Apple_Pay_logo.svgHow it Works

Apple Pay uses a Near Field Communication (or NFC) antenna in the most recent iPhone models to send payment information. Ideally, retailers will have a contactless reader that is tailored to accept NFC payments from Apple’s mobile devices. Once the payment has been sent, the iPhone lets your know with a confirmation beep or vibration.

The Pros

There are considerable benefits to mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. A few of them are listed below.

Convenience: It probably goes without saying that the biggest pro to Apple Pay is convenience. Those tired of jamming their pockets with a phone, car or house keys, and a wallet could feasibly cut out the latter item with Apple Pay. Who needs a wallet when they can make payments with their smartphone?

Protection: In recent years, we’ve seen major hacks or leak where consumer payment information was exposed. Instances like this are extremely frustrating because they force people to cancel their cards, get new ones, and change everything from electronic bill payment setups to Amazon.com account information.

With Apple Pay, you are still technically paying with credit card, but your actual card information is kept safe. This is done through what Apple calls the Device Account Number. Your payments are done with the DAN, which is linked to your credit or debit card and encrypted.

Your DAN can only be used to make a payment with your iPhone or Apple Watch, making it difficult to steal covertly. The DAN also allows you to pay with your credit card without ever actually storing your card number on your iPhone. Finally, if your phone is lost or stolen, you can cancel your DAN without cancelling all of your credit cards.

The Cons

Of course, Apple Pay has some drawbacks as well. First of all, not all retailers have (or will have) the contactless readers necessary to support payments using the technology. As a result, Apple Pay may never be reliable enough to replace your wallet entirely. After all, if you can’t make a payment with the technology everywhere you go, then it isn’t reliable enough to become your main method of purchasing things.

Reliability is the main con of Apple Pay for other reasons as well. For instance, you always will want to have money or credit cards on you anyway, in case your phone battery dies and makes using Apple Pay impossible. Since the iPhone 6 has not been praised for battery life, this is a real problem that could happen with Apple Pay.

Finally, there’s just not much chance that anyone is going to stop carrying a wallet anyway—even if they can buy everything with their phone. After all, your driver’s license/ID cards aren’t stored on your phone.

Will you consider using Apple Pay, despite its relative unreliability? Talk about it in the comments!