In the dawn of an October morning, Apple launched their latest technology that is poised to reshape the world. Apple Pay, a mobile payment device, is available on the latest iPhone and iPad models – including iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3. With the new technology, iAddicts can make purchases in stores, using only the Touch ID fingerprint reader. Despite the frequent hacks and data breaches of major retailers, Apple Pay promises to be virtually sound. Instead of living in the cloud, all secure data is stored on a chip within the Apple device. To snuff out the cries of worry regarding devices that need only to bump your phone to steal information, Apple developed its Pay technology to be activated only with your fingerprint, making its payment system un-hackable. Well, almost.
“It’s not a silver bullet,” said Dodi Glenn, the senior director of security intelligence and research labs at ThreatTrack Security. His concern lies with the possibilities for weakened security. “When the system is opened up to developers and companies performing other transactions — essentially allowing the use of third-party tools — if not done right, they run the risk of a security hole being created,” Dodi told the Ecommerce Times. Despite these concerns, others voice great optimism for the tool as a secure ecommerce (and physical store) payment option. Revel Systems CTO Chris Ciabarra believes Apple Pay is “real secure.”
Ciabarra is confident in the scrambling mechanisms of Apple Pay. The chip, where credit card information is stored, is encrypted, scrambled, and difficult to breach. Apple Pay produces a token for every transaction – meaning that even if the device were hacked, information would be accessed only for one payment. Moreover, Apple’s payment system takes the pressure off retailers. “No longer can the retailer be blamed in a credit card attack,” Ciabarra said. Sensitive information is stored within the chip, leaving retailers free of blame should any information be stolen. Which, Apple insists, will not happen.
Regardless of where you stand on the invincibility of Apple’s new technology, it’s evident that Apple Pay is indeed changing the way consumers make purchases. In years to come, the possibility of cash registers and cashiers becoming obsolete is a real one. It will take time for every consumer to abandon their comfortably worn leather wallets, but it’s likely that this reality is a “when,” not an “if.” When we pay for our pack of Oreos with our fingertips and phone before zipping off in our flying cars, what will become of brick-and-mortar stores? Of ecommerce retailers? Will we still log on to Amazon.com, or will Jeff Bezos have spawned a new way to access our wallets in the twilight of this brave new world? If mobile shopping can change this rapidly, I would expect ecommerce marketplaces and retailers to join the race.
How do you feel about paying for items with your phone while shopping in-store? Let us know in the comments, and watch this video of TechCrunch staff trying out Apple Pay themselves.