Should I pay via Apple Pay? What are the pros and cons?« Back to Questions List

I’ve been hearing a lot about Apple Pay lately. Should I use it to pay for my shopping? Is it safe?
Posted by jwrighte
Asked on September 22, 2016 7:17 pm

In the oldschool world of banking, payment options were few: cash, check or credit card. Now, technologies have paved the way for a new era of payment capabilities that have shaken up the banking industry.

Apple, with its revolutionary new payment interface, Apple Pay has given consumers another option at checkout: their phone (or watch, as it turns out.) Should you take advantage of this new payment method? What are the downsides?

How It Works:

Apple Pay users must first input their credit card information into the Wallet app. The app encrypts the data so no sensitive information is stored on the device or by Apple.

Brick-and-mortar purchases: When it is time to pay, users open the Wallet and hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless card reader. They must place their finger on the Touch ID button, holding it in place until ‘Done’ is displayed on the screen.

In-app: Merchants who have their own dedicated app might offer Apple Pay as a payment option. By clicking the Apple Pay button during checkout, users can quickly and easily complete their transaction.

Online: Apple Pay recently made the announcement that Apple Pay will be made available through eCommerce stores via Safari. When shopping with participating merchants, users can complete the checkout process with the click of a button.

Benefits of Using Apple Pay:
  • It’s secure. With the latest technology being used, the transaction is processed securely. Apple doesn’t use the number to process the transaction; it uses a token ‘device account number’, similar to how the new EMV cards work.
  • It’s private. Apple doesn’t track shopper identification through the brick-and-mortar transaction, so merchants have no access to customer name, address and other information. Not only does this protect the consumer, there is a lower risk of identity theft due to security breaches at retailers.
  • There are no extra fees. Apple is not charging merchants or consumers additional fees for using the service.
  • It’s widespread. With merchants converting their credit card terminals to meet the new EMV standards, the capability to accept Apple Pay is built in. As terminals are updated, more merchants will have the necessary tools to accept the payment method.
  • It’s convenient. Using Apple Pay allows consumers to shop securely and conveniently without having to worry about carrying money or credit cards. When shopping online, consumers don’t need to worry about entering their card information with each new purchase. Shopping can literally be done with the touch of a button.
Cons of Using Apple Pay:
  • Adoption: Despite the convenience, many consumers are leery of storing their credit card information on their phone. Diehard Apple fans and techies may be early adopters, but trying to convince others to make the switch may be difficult at first.
  • Stability: How can users be confident of the security of their transaction? The technology is new, so there has been little opportunity for security threats.
  • Future fees: Currently Apple is offering the service without additional fees to either merchants or consumers. As the service becomes more popular, however, there is no guarantee that they won’t start adding additional charges.

For many, having everything you need stored securely in your phone is a dream come true. Ensuring that dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare, however, is another story.

If you have trouble with Apple Pay and process a purchase accidentally or experience other unauthorized transactions, contact eConsumer Services®. We can help you secure a refund quickly and easily—regardless of the payment method you use.

Posted by jwrighte
Answered On September 22, 2016 7:20 pm