By now I’m sure you have heard of Apple Pay. Apple’s own foray into the world of digital wallets and simplified payment methods.

Essentially with your new iPhone and iOS 8.1 you can add your credit card to your Passbook. The same way you can with your Starbucks or Subway card. This involves taking a picture of, or entering your credit card details manually onto the iPhone. However the full details of the card will not be visible in Passbook, they are hidden away in a secret part of the phone that, Apple say, never connects to their servers.

Apple’s claim is that when you use your credit/debit card in an everyday transaction, that card has to be physically taken out and produced to a vendor. This leaves said card visible and vulnerable. So now your iPhone doesn’t carry your credit card number, rather stores the card information as a unique number that acts as a proxy for your credit card. When you make a payment, the phone’s special NFC wireless chip sends a one-time payment code, not your card number. Of course, Apple does get a small fee from the banks for facilitating the transactions.

Essentially now even if the merchant’s systems get hacked, a hacker shouldn’t be able to use the shops data to steal your credit card, just a useless one time transaction number.

This is all made that bit more secure with Apple’s Touch ID system which registers a high resolution snapshot of your fingerprint to unlock your iDevice. So a thief should not be able to make any payments with your phone in the event that it is stolen. If this does occur however and you are concerned you can always disable payment features through Apple’s Find My iPhone application.

All of this is well and good as the technology has only just launched along with iOS 8.1 (which has already been jailbroken in case you were wondering). We will have to wait and see when, and if, Apple Pay does succumb to any type of malicious attack. In this day and age though, most peoples’ mobile phones are worth more than the contents of their wallet. So how safe would you feel with Apple Pay?

If you want to give it a go (and have a US based bank account with credit card) follow this link:

 Post by Sam Rumball, IT Resourcer with Vantage Resources.

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