Apple is always about revolution in the sense that the company reintroduces old concepts and turns them into fresh innovations. Now, the company is about to start another revolution in a turnover that would incorporate one of the most popular services available on the Internet today: online banking.
A cursory observer might say that Apple Pay looks like another gimmick to centralize the company’s virtual payment systems. Although this is true technically (hint: Passbook), Apple Pay also actually has a definite significance in the proliferation of the near-field communication (NFC) capabilities of the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch. As with most other NFC-based payment systems introduced over the past couple of years, you would be able to use your iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or Apple Watch like a contactless debit, credit, or ATM card to purchase goods in centers where such services are available.
Identification starts immediately when you approach the counter. Yes, the Apple Pay system allows the unit to be automatically awakened from its idle state. The user receives a notification when a card reader is nearby. There is no need for verification because the built-in Touch ID sensor provides single-button confirmation for anything that you want to purchase. It’s even better and flashier when Apple Pay is used on an Apple Watch. Just hold up the watch onto the NFC device, and you’ll get a beep and a buzz confirming the electronic transaction.
As hinted earlier, setting up to use Apple Pay on your iPhone will require the Passbook app by default, which will be updated to Wallet this sometime during the last quarter of the year. Needless to say, older versions of iPhones without NFC chips won’t be able to use Apple Pay for electronic payments, but they can use the app for in-app purchases so long as they are using at least iOS 8.3.
Now, how does Apply Pay fit into what everything Apple has offered so far? Well, quite a lot. For a concept that’s actually not entirely new, its ‘revolution’ comes from the fact that it is universally integrated or, at least, will eventually be universally integrated into most things you would usually pay for, virtual or not.
In fact, as evidence to this, Apple had just made a deal with Transport for London for the Apple Pay system to be usable on London’s vast network of public transports. Security, for instance, comes in the form of an encrypted Device Account Number, omitting any digital information such as transaction records or card numbers from being illegally obtained externally. The question no longer lies on whether the system will be successful but on when it will be available as a general service in the widest area possible.
For now, Apple Pay is only implemented largely in the UK, with its transport systems and about 250,000 shops already supporting the mode of payment as of the writing of this article. If you’re somewhere a bit far, then you might want to watch over the developments of the system in the UK first to see how its convenience will actually play out for your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.