Another big announcement Apple made today is the company’s leap into mobile payments. Apple Pay makes use of NFC technology for contact-free payments and is available in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the form of a dedicated chip called Secure Element.
The system integrates with Apple’s Passbook app, which was originally launched with iOS 7, as well as with Touch ID for added security. Users will set up and manage their Apple Pay accounts through iTunes.
Since Apple Pay makes use of a mobile payment technology that is already available worldwide, merchants do not have to worry about acquiring a new system just to accommodate payments made through the new iPhones and the Apple Watch. In the US, over 220,000 merchants currently accept contactless payments, and Apple has partnered up with big brands including Macy’s, Walgreens, Staples, and McDonald’s.
Apple insists that the company will not collect any personal data from payments made through Apple Pay.
To keep your credit and debit cards secure, Apple Pay makes use of one-time unique numbers used specifically for each transaction. Apple explains: “The actual card numbers are not stored on the device nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your iPhone or Apple Watch. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique number using your Device Account Number and instead of using the security code from the back of your card, Apple Pay creates a dynamic security code to securely validate each transaction.”