Will Apple Pay challenge Google Wallet?

Apple has announced its much awaited feature of the iPhone Apple Pay. This service will allow users to make payments with ease, securely and privately.

Apple works with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus through a NFC antenna design. It has a chip called the Secure Element.

Through this service the users can simply add their credit or debit card on file from their iTunes Store account. The service is also compatible with the newly launched Apple Watch.

Apple will extend Apple Pay to over 200 million owners of iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s worldwide.

Eden Zoller, principal analyst, Consumer, said: “It looks like many in the ecosystem think Apple can make mobile payments fly as it has launched with the backing of major card schemes, a clutch of banks and big name retailers.”

This is a promising start although not everyone will be happy as the strengths of Apple Pay will make it highly disruptive for many existing digital wallet providers such as Google Wallet and those run by mobile operators, which in many markets are making slow progress.

NFC, as we expected, is the key enabling technology for mobile proximity payments but TouchID biometrics are also in the equation for authentication and Apple Pay looks set to be integrated with Passbook, which is a natural fit.

Apple Pay

“But it’s not all about proximity payments – Apple is also set to enable online checkouts without having to enter card details. This should get PayPal and other online payment providers a little worried, particularly as Apple already has 800 million iTunes accounts on file,” Zoller said.

Apple Pay will accept credit and debit cards from American Express, MasterCard and Visa, which are three major payment networks.

These cards are issued by the most popular banks including Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo, representing 83 percent of credit card purchase volume in the US. The list will further include Barclaycard, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC Bank, USAA and U.S. Bank.

Apple Pay will be supported by leading retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Disney Store and Walt Disney World Resort, Duane Reade, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Sephora, Staples, Subway, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market.

The service will be usable at 220,000 merchant locations across the US that have contactless payment enabled. Apple Pay is also able to make purchases through apps in the App Store.

Apple Pay is a secure service and does not store users debit or credit card information, but a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your iPhone or Apple Watch.

“Apple Pay is the kind of innovative thinking that brings the worlds of online and offline commerce closer together, We’re excited to work with Apple to offer Card Members and merchants a simple and secure way to make purchases in stores and on apps,” said Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express.

Users can now purchase apps through Apple Pay. It 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.

Vishal Kawadkar
editor@gizmolead.com

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