Apple Pay will keep credit hackers at bay

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

In a world where millions of users’ information can be compromised in a matter of seconds, it is hard to believe that Americans still continue to stand by their half-century-old magnetic stripe cards. This outdated technology, in which users must reveal their full name, credit card payment number, and security code, as well as other sensitive information, has seen tens of millions of security compromises in the last year alone.

Target, the Home Depot, and most recently, Staples, have seen just how easy it is to have information compromised when they are essentially storing what is a goldmine of tens of millions of credit cards.

Apple Pay and other wireless NFC payment systems may finally be the solution to this issue. With Apple Pay, the retailer is presented with no personal information from the person on the other side of the payment; the only thing received on their end is a one-time payment code in order to carry out the transaction.

Apple Pay represents the innovation that credit card companies should have brought years ago. After testing Apple Pay at the Craig Street Subway, I can conclude that it is as simple and easy to use as advertised. One simply walks up to the register, points their phone at the payment device, and holds their fingerprint down for verification. It’s that simple. Perhaps the most exciting part about it is that while using it, the customer does not have to worry about who they are handing their credit card to and where the information is being stored.

Apply Pay has had a few glitches since its launch, such as Bank of America customers being double charged for some purchases, but with a technology this new, it may take a bit of time to wire out all of the glitches and issues. However, once perfected, removed of issues, and accepted at a wider range of retailers, Apple Pay has the opportunity to revolutionize the way people make purchases.

The potential for success associated with Apple Pay is due to the fact that Apple does not wish to be the middleman. None of the transaction activity from Apple Pay is stored on Apple’s servers, and Apple is taking a fee-free, hands-off approach to mobile payments. Its goal is not to profit off of single purchases; it is to sell more iDevices and become the new standard for mobile payments.

The most disappointing thing about Apple Pay is that PNC and many other major banks were not included with the initial release. While Apple Pay will support most banks and cards in the future, it only supports a handful at launch.

In addition, the speedy convenience of Apple Pay is entirely in the hands of the retailer. If the retailer spends thirty seconds telling you about their rewards card each time you make a purchase, the experience is ruined. Because of this, Apple should incorporate rewards and loyalty cards into its Passbook application and add a feature that automatically sends rewards information upon making a purchase. In addition, Apple should create an Apple Pay policy that retailers cannot ask about loyalty cards, but Passbook displays available loyalty cards to the user upon request.

Because of Apple’s success in getting support from all of the major banks and credit card companies, it has the potential to revolutionize the mobile payment market. Magnetic stripe cards are a completely outdated technology that put all users at risk. It is time that a major company like Apple comes along and sets a new standard for the way we pay. While only time will tell the success of Apple Pay, I will be surprised if a significant portion of Americans are still attached to their magnetic stripe cards in a decade.