Thoughts on Apple Pay

One of the major benefits of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, beyond the large screen, is Apple Pay. Although I have only used Apple Pay for 2 actual purchases, one of the hidden benefits for me has been Card Notifications. Once I enrolled my American Express Card in Apple Pay, I began to receive notifications on my phone whenever I make a purchase. At least for American Express, these notifications are provided for all transactions, not just those made with Apple Pay. Whenever my American Express is used anywhere, I now get an alert on my phone. I do not have to be logged in to the American Express app for these alerts to appear.

The advantage of these constant alerts is that I am able to now actively monitor my account for fraud. I no longer have to login to the American Express app or website to check my transaction history. I instantly get an alert and transaction history within the Passbook app by clicking the info button. Since I wear a Pebble SmartWatch, these alerts also show on my wrist. If there is suspicious activity, I know immediately.

Since I currently only have an American Express card enrolled with Apple Pay, I am not sure whether other card providers also provide you with notifications for all purchases, but I hope so. I feel much more secure knowing that my phone alerts me for any purchase I make, and I wish that my primary bank account was available in Apple Pay. I am hoping that as more of my credit cards become eligible, these same alerts are provided.

If you have started using Apple Pay, I would be interested in your experiences. Please let me know if you are receiving notifications for all purchases and whether you have had any difficulty. More banks started offering Apple Pay as an option this week, and several more are supposed to be added throughout the rest of the year. If none of your cards were initially eligible, you may want to check again to see if that has changed.

Apple Introduces Apple Pay for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Apple PassbookApple today announced a new payment system that is called Apple Pay. Apple Pay is available as a payment option using the new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, every day in the United States $12 billion is spent in over 200 million credit card transactions. He discussed the difficulty of using credit cards today and the fear that consumers have in losing their cards (or card data). Apple Pay is built using a combination of TouchID, NFC and a Secure Element on the device to allow you to use your iPhone to make secure purchases.

When you open passbook on an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, you have the option of using a credit card that is already stored in iTunes or adding a new credit card. Your credit card number is not actually stored on the device, instead when you register a new card, a token is stored on your device that dynamically changes. If you lose your device, you can use Find My iPhone and it disables payments using your iPhone.

It will start in the US using American Express, Mastercard and Visa. It will work with the top 6 banks in the US to begin with and will work with 83% of cards (your bank must be a partner in order to use Apple Pay). Retail partners include Walgreen’s, CVS, Subway, Toys R’ Us, Macy’s, Panera, McDonalds, Disney and Apple Retail stores to begin, with more to come. It will be as easy as touching your device to the payment terminal to make payments.

Loyalty programs are also being added to Apple Pay. You will be able to use third party apps from Target, Groupon and OpenTable to make payments through Apple Pay. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to make purchases without having to touch your actual wallet.

Apple Pay is a new service that Apple hopes will revolutionize the way that you make payments. More to come….