Following from last week’s announcement of relationships with the three major credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard an American Express), Apple at its iPhone launch announced features that enable the iPhone to be used as an iWallet (not a term it is using).
It is called Apple Pay, and Apple calls it “a new category of service”.
Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of software and services said: “We've placed a lot of energy into creating an entirely new payments solution. Everything you need for Apple Pay is built into iPhone 6. A ground-breaking NFC antenna. The security of Touch ID. The privacy of the Secure Element. And the convenience of Passbook.”
Users can easily add an existing card from their iTunes account. To add a new card, users can take a picture of it with the iPhone’s camera. “Pay with a touch of your finger. More secure than keeping cards in your wallet. It generates a dynamic security code, replacing the static security code from the back of your card.
“Cashiers don’t see your name, your card number, or your security code. Apple doesn’t know what you bought, where you bought it, or how much you paid for it.”
Apple Pay will start in the US, with Disneyland the highest profile user. There will be 220,000 merchants in the US that will accept contactless payment.
“Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you’re using Apple Pay in a store, restaurant or other merchant, cashiers will no longer see your name, credit card number or security code, helping to reduce the potential for fraud.
“Apple doesn’t collect your purchase history, so we don’t know what you bought, where you bought it or how much you paid for it. And if your iPhone is lost or stolen, you can use Find My iPhone to quickly suspend payments from that device.”
Cue says online shopping in apps with iPhone is also easy. “Users can pay for physical goods and services with Touch ID. Checkout can happen with a single touch, so there’s no need to manually fill out lengthy account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information, and card details are kept private and are not shared with the online merchant."
Starting in October, with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay will be available in the US as a free update to iOS 8. Apple Pay will work in stores with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. Apple Pay APIs will be available to developers in iOS 8 so they can enable purchasing physical goods within their apps on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.