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As of last week, Apple Pay – the Californian tech giant’s entry into the world of contactless payment – is now active in the UK for RBS, Natwest, Santander and Nationwide account holders, with many more banks joining soon.
Using your iPhone, iPad or iWatch, tech-adopters can enter their card details to their Passbook (using iOs 6 and above), select Apple Pay when checking out, swipe their fingerprint and pay for goods or a service (in participating outlets).
But since the concept is nothing new (I’ve been using my contactless card for around 2 years now, and even get cash rewards from my bank for doing so), what’s the big song and dance all about?
Security experts are claiming that the NFC chip on an iPhone, iPad or iWatch is a more secure method of payment than contactless cards, because it requires your fingerprint as authorisation. Biometrics are not a perfect form of security however, as hackers have previously compromised Apple’s Touch ID service.
In addition, if you’re an Oyster card user (a contactless travel card to use London’s range of transport services) planning to switch over, TFL has warned about potential penalty charges, or currency conversion fees for international users.
I must admit, it does seem a lot easier to just be able to access everything on one device. But then when you accidentally drop said shiny smartphone down a toilet after one too many Cheeky Vimtos, or if it gets stolen, you may soon long for the good ol’ days of paying by plastic.
But Apple Pay is undoubtedly here to stay. Android is hot on its heels, with Samsung devices expected to match the technology within the next few months.
Will you be joining the revolution?