LOS ANGELES — The future of transaction processing arrives Monday, as Apple launches its Apple Pay service that brings iPhone 6 users one-touch payments at retailers everywhere.
When used to power a payment mechanism through a mobile device, near field communications (NFC) is a real world corollary to having a magic wand, which with a wave of your hand, allows you to obtain the goods and services that you desire.
The technology, in use throughout Asia, Europe and elsewhere, is just now coming to America — but its growth may be explosive, due to its backing by a number of major corporations, and because of its many benefits; including increased security and dramatically improved usability on mobile devices, where the user is freed from having to enter complex information such as credit card numbers and personal information.
Calling it “Your wallet. Without the wallet,” Apple’s new Apple Pay service is set to be the driving force in America’s adoption of NFC — and it will spread beyond the nation’s borders to quickly become a popular payment platform.
“Paying in stores or within apps has never been easier,” states an Apple spokesperson. “Gone are the days of searching for your wallet. The wasted moments finding the right card. Now payments happen with a single touch.”
“Apple Pay will change how you pay with breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built right into the devices you have with you every day,” the rep explains. “So you can use your iPhone to pay in a simple, secure, and private way.”
Enabled as part of the iOS 8.1 software update due out on October 20, Apple Pay will be available to all iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, and ostensibly to the users of further generation devices. The system combines a Touch ID fingerprint sensor along with an NFC chip to provide one-touch payments at brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as through those retailer’s apps, allowing customers to choose Apple Pay as their preferred payment method.
As for where Apple Pay can currently be used, the number of venues is growing quickly, and includes brand name retailers from Bloomingdale’s to Foot Locker and from Macy’s to McDonald’s, Petsmart, Subway, Whole Foods Market, and many more. Other firms, such as Starbucks, StubHub and Target, accept Apple Pay through their company’s apps.
“The list seemed a bit limited when it was initially announced — longer on specialty shops, and shorter on big chains, but with the addition of Chevron, Texaco, and Walgreens, it’s getting more robust,” Liana Bandziulis wrote for Wired. “Although it’s probably a bit early to throw away your wallet entirely, this may be the push NFC needs to become a more viable payment method in 2015.”
The list of merchants that are accepting Apple Pay could become as ubiquitous as some of the major credit card brands, once a tipping point is reached. As for those major credit card brands, American Express, Bank of America, CapitalOne, Chase, Citi, MasterCard, Visa and Wells Fargo, are all reportedly on board with Apple Pay, as are another 500 banks so far.
Predictably, as with any new technology, Apple Pay (and all near field communications based and one-touch billing systems), have caught the attention of the adult entertainment industry, with some early adopters already implementing the system.
For example, Amazing Intimate Essentials, a retailer offering adult DVDs and novelties, lingerie and smoke shop wares through its 30 locations throughout New England, announced that it will accept NFC payments through Apple Pay.
“We consider it a responsibility to customers to pioneer new retail trends in this industry,” Amazing Intimate Essentials’ Alexander Guarino says. “Contactless payment via NFC will not only maximize security in the transactions our customers make, it will make them more private in every way [so that] eventually a customer at one of our locations will be able to discretely charge a purchase and not be required to show any ID or sign any receipt.”
It is a proposition that other adult retailers are sure to embrace.
For more information, visit Apple.com.