Apple Inc. keeps disrupting industry after industry; and it looks as though payments at point of sale are next. Apple is hoping that their repository of consumer credit card information and their fingerprint reading technology will make them a natural leader in this category:
Apple Pay uses what’s known as a near-field chip to communicate with payment sensors at store checkouts. It works with Touch ID, a system built into recent iPhones that uses your fingerprint as a pass code. And Apple Pay promises to make transactions more secure at a time when major retailers, including Target and Home Depot, have reported massive breaches of their payment systems.
Apple already has what analysts believe is the largest cache of consumer credit card numbers in the world. In a conference call with investors this April, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company had 800 million iTunes accounts, the majority of which had active credit cards stored on them. (That’s up from 575 million in June 2013.)
For new Apple Pay users, the default payment will be the card that is already stored in their iTunes account. That’s one less hoop for consumers to jump through before they can start tapping and buying.
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