The World’s First Virtual Credit Card

Michael Bakshandeh, Technology Editor

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Until recently, credit cards were the easiest way to pay for products. Apple realized that credit cards could be a bit cumbersome, so they put the credit card on your phone. For the first time ever, there is no need for a credit card or cash to pay for something; Apple Pay can take care of it for you with Touch ID.

Apple Pay is a mobile payment service that lets compatible Apple mobile devices make payments in-store and online. Apple’s newest innovation was released on October 20, 2014. Apple Pay is compatible with the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch (with an iPhone 5, 5C, or 5S). The main purpose of Apple Pay is to digitalize and replace the credit/debit card at checkout. To check out at certain stores, users hold out their Apple device to the payment terminal. The default card then pops up on the screen, and the user confirms his/her identity with Touch ID. Yes, it’s actually that simple. One reporter commented, “It took me approximately 17 times longer to type this than it does to actually make a payment.”

The question that everyone is asking is, “Is Apple Pay safe?” Apple actually claims that Apple Pay is MORE SECURE than using a credit/debit card. When a user takes out their credit card, the card number and identity can be viewed. With Apple Pay, something called a Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted, and stored in a secure place on the user’s iPhone. Apple Pay does not store the details of your transactions, and Apple won’t be able to track the user down through their purchases. In the event the user’s iPhone is lost, Apple has a backup plan all ready. Using Find my iPhone, the user can quickly put the device in Lost Mode, which suspends Apple Pay.

Although Apple Pay may seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread, Rite Aid and CVS have already dropped it. The most likely reason for this unexpected turn of events, according to Forbes, is that they are part of a group of retailers that will be coming out with their own pay network called CurrentC in 2015. There are several reasons why retailers might be more attracted towards CurrentC. Some of these reasons include an economic advantage for retailers and that it provides consumer information for marketing purposes. Of course, we all know that no company is invincible, and that there will always be a slight chance that Apple gets hacked.

Despite all this, Apple Pay is still an incredibly attractive method for paying in major retailers. Its extreme simplicity lures Apple fans from all realms and walks of life. It looks like the world’s first virtual credit card has arrived.