Apple announced Apple Pay the other day, a payment system that aims to making paying for any item with your new iPhone 6 of iPhone 6 Plus simpler. The way that Apple Pay works is simple enough too: you simply add your credit card information to your iPhone, use your fingerprint for authentication purposes, and then wave your phone in front of a payment device.
In a split second, the item that you are buying will be purchased, and you will receive a confirmation text message.
While Apple Pay sounds like a buyer’s dream, there are some data concerns surrounding the new payment system.
Apple Speaks to Concerns
Having all of those details - what you buy, where you buy it, and what you use to pay for items - stored on a cloud seems like a marketer’s best friend. With the information that could potentially be gathered from using Apple Pay, Apple could store and send a ton of marketing details to marketers at any time. However, the company claims that they will not be storing or selling any of these details.
Apple claims that the payment system does not track purchasing data. Apple representatives have told press that all transactions are between individuals and banks, and no data will be stored or shared elsewhere. This statement seems to hold weight, too, since giving up transaction data to marketers would surely put Apple Pay on buyer blacklists.
Considering what has recently happened with the celebrity iCloud breach (celebrity photos were spread across the internet, and those photos were taken from Apple’s iCloud - though the company claims that no security breach happened through iCloud), Apple is being very cautious when it comes to user purchasing details.
Plus, the Home Depot just went through a major security issue where a number of debit card and credit card information was stolen. However, the many stores that add an Apple Pay machine to checkout counters might be a different story. It’s very likely that you will see these stores offering customer-specific coupons and discounts in the near future, and that’s all going to be due to the information gathered through payment apps.
More to Come
Apple is not the only company that has tried to get consumers away from plastic credit cards and into an app system like Apple Pay (which uses Apple’s Passbook app). But consumers aren’t quick to adopt the new systems. One good reason might be that today’s smartphone users understand how companies can quickly gather data, and they just don’t like the way that this sounds.
Another reason might be that most consumers today are simply comfortable with the old swipe cards - unless, of course, you live in Canada or Europe where chip cards rule the retail waves. It will be interesting to see if Apple can pull off what Google couldn’t, to say the least. At the time of this writing, Apple has struck deals with all major credit cards and many major retailers, so you can expect to see Apple Pay accepted widely in the very near future. Apple will also make Pay available to iPhone 5 users.