About 10 million people around the world own an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus. Aside from the fantastic features of this phone, you can also use it to pay for stuff in lieu of your credit or debit card. This payment method is called Apple Pay. So far, it’s available only in the US, but there are already plans to bring it to the rest of the world in 2015 such as Europe and China.
How to Setup Apple Pay
First you’ll need a device that supports Apple Pay. Currently you can use Apple Pay with your iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus device for in-app, online, and in-store purchases. With the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3, the functionality is a bit limited. You can only use Apple Pay for in-app and online purchases.
If you have an iPhone 5, 5c, or 5s, you may eventually use Apple Pay as well. But you’ll need to pair your device to Apple Watch, which will be launched sometime in 2015.
But if you already have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, your next step is to update your operating system to iOS 8.1. This is a must because it won’t work without this update.
Then you need to add eligible cards, which is done via the Passbook app. If you already use a card for your iTunes account, then you can add that card using a verification code. If not, it’s still easy. While you can always enter the data manually, you can just get the card details using the iSight camera. Then verify the card and you’re done.
How It Works
Basically, if the shop supports Apple Pay, their checkout counter will have a sensor. You just place your iPhone on the sensor, and then you put your finger on the fingerprint scanner for ID purposes. And that’s it.
The foundation for the technology is NFC, or Near Field Communication. It’s the same technology that’s used with Android phones for mobile payments, and it’s the same tech used for building passes and key fobs.
What’s Different about Apple Pay?
Aside from the fact that it’s very easy to set up and use, one of the most attractive features of Apple Pay is that the security is topnotch. While Google Wallet has your card details in its servers, it’s a different story for Apple Pay. Your credit card details aren’t on the Apple Pay servers, nor are they on your iPhone.
When you pay, you use your own fingerprint to verify your identity. If your iPhone gets stolen, you can just use “Find my iPhone” to suspend payments from that device. You don’t really need to cancel your credit card, because your credit card number info isn’t stored on your iPhone.
Finally, you can also make anonymous payments. You don’t give your name and credit card number to the person behind the counter, and no one tracks your purchases so that you receive “relevant” ads when you make online purchases.