At the Apple’s big event held on September 9 the company’s CEO Tim Cook announced Apple’s new mobile payment service the Apple Pay in addition to two big-screen iPhones and a smartwatch. Instead of swiping your usual credit card, you can now pay with your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch. Apple Pay is “Your Wallet without the Wallet”. The phone will have security features built into it so that there would be no risk.
Initially, Apple Pay will be available in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ but updates for the same will be available soon for other iPhones 5,5c and 5s. Apple Pay can be used with the Apple Watch when paired with these iPhones. This service will be available in the United States from October and later in other parts of the world.
The Apple Pay system basically consists of Four components: Near Field Communication (NFC) antenna, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, Secure Element chip and Setup in Passbook.
Near Field Communication (NFC) antenna:
It is an antenna that enables short range wireless communication when two devices are brought near each other. So if you hold your iPhone near the contactless reader in the shop and put your finger on the Touch ID, your payment will be made. A vibration and a beep in the phone will let you know that the payment was successful.
In case of an Apple Watch, you have to double-click the button provided near the Digital Crown and hold the watch near the contactless reader with the watch’s face towards it. A pulse and beep will let you know that the payment has been made. According to the company, this will be available in early 2015.
Touch ID fingerprint sensor:
Touch ID is present in iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 & 6+ and allows you to use your fingerprint as a passcode. This sensor is present in the Home button which is made of laser-cut sapphire crystal to prevent scratches and enable it to work properly. It has a stainless steel detection ring that detects the user’s finger without pressing it. Touch ID reads your fingerprint when you put your finger on it in any direction and unlocks your phone. The fingerprint data is securely stored inside the iPhone’s processor.
Secure Element chip:
When you make payment through your credit card, your card number and identity can be seen but in case of Apple Pay, your credit/debit card information is already stored in your iPhone and is not visible to anyone. When you add your card to the Passbook, a ‘Unique Device Account Number’ is created, encrypted and stored securely in the Secure Element Chip present in the iPhone 6, 6+ and the Apple Watch.
When you make a payment, this ‘Unique Device Account Number’ and a transaction-specific dynamic security code are used to process the payment so that your credit or debit card information remains safe. The data stored in the Secure Element is free from software and hardware attacks. In case you lose your iPhone, you can use ‘Find My iPhone’ and put it in the Lost Mode so that nothing will be accessible or you can also completely wipe your iPhone clean.
Setup in Passbook:
Your iPhone has a passbook application. You have to add your credit card or debit card information to your passbook app manually or from your iTunes account or by photographing them with your iSight camera. Apple Pay works with Visa Card and Master Card as well as cards issued by American Express, Bank of America, Citi, Capital One, Chase and Wells Fargo. Others whose cards will be added soon are Barclaycard, USAA, Navy Federal, PNC and US Bank.
Apple Pay will be accepted at 220,000 stores at launch. Some of the stores accepting contactless payments through Apple Pay are: Babies R Us, Toys R Us, Bloomingdales, Disney Store, Duanereade, McDonalds, Macy’s, Nike, Panera Bread, Petco, Staples, Sephora, Subway, Unleashed, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market. Apple Pay can also be used for purchases through the following apps: Disney Store, Groupon, Instacart, MLB.com, OpenTable, Panera Bread, Sephora, Starbucks, Target, Tickets.com and Uber.
If you see the following icon at check out it means you can pay with Apple Pay.
Watch the video of Apple Pay Announcement by Tim Cook uploaded by cnet: