The iPhone 6 was launched today and, as has been anticipated for quite some time, it brings a new contactless payment system which is expected to quickly go mainstream.
The contactless payment system is marketed as being simple, easy to use technology, with no need to open an application prior to making the payment. The Apple website says:
“One touch to pay with Touch ID. Now paying in stores happens in one natural motion — there’s no need to open an app or even wake your display thanks to the innovative Near Field Communication [NFC] antenna in iPhone 6. To pay, just hold your iPhone near the contactless reader with your finger on Touch ID. You don’t even have to look at the screen to know your payment information was successfully sent. A subtle vibration and beep lets you know. “
Apple Pay will also be used in apps to make payments, competing with other major companies such as PayPal.
To help promote security with contactless payments, Apple Pay has been designed so that any card number that is added by the user is assigned a unique Device Account Number which is encrypted and stored on a dedicated chip – Secure Element – in the phone itself. Every time the user makes a payment using their iPhone, the Device Account Number alongside a transaction-specific dynamic security code is provided, meaning that your card details are not shared with the merchant or transmitted with the payment.
This means that, should your phone be stolen, in theory you will not need to cancel your registered payment cards, as their numbers are not stored on the iPhone. However, you will be able to suspend all payments from the iPhone using the FindMyiPhone app.
The Apple Pay contactless payment technology will initially be available in the US only, but is expected to be available in other countries in quick succession.
It is anticipated that, due to the huge popularity of iPhones in countries such as the UK, the use of contactless payment technology will quickly increase. What impact this will have on cash payments, time will tell.