If you haven’t bent your new iPhone 6 in half yet, then you’ll be one of the lucky ones to test out the new Apple pay mobile payments app this coming October. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this nifty app, it allows users to pay with their phone using a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip. Say bye-bye to credit cards!
Yes, Apple Pay will be limited to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners, BUT if you don’t mind shelling out $350 and making questionable fashion decisions, then you too can use the Apple Pay with the Apple Watch. Looks like everything is going to be coming up Apple in October.
Will Apple Pay make it?
If this feature looks familiar to you, it’s because it’s not new. Samsung and Nokia, both released similar NFC-enabled phones years and years ago. Large parts of Asia and Europe have used this payment method for years. The main reason Apple Pay may survive (in the U.S.) when others have fallen flat is due to the partnerships they have already lined up. The partnerships include Duane Reade, Subway, Walgreens, Whole Foods Market, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and more.
Apple Pay will also work with American Express, MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards issued by some of the largest banks in the nation including Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, Citibank and Wells Fargo.
As with any technological trend, the way we interact with the world will be changed forever. Yes, you may be set in your habits, but future generations will most likely use this new payment system and not look back. So, here are five things that will never be the same:
1. Delayed gratification
Does anyone under the age of 25 save money these days? With all the ways to spend, it’s nearly an impossible feat. I rarely use my credit cards because I feel that it creates a big disassociation from the act of spending. If you’re not seeing a tangible change in your wallet, it’s easy for the receipts to add up.
Now that NFC technology will also take away the act of pulling out your wallet and swiping your card, consumers will be further removed from the physical act of seeing how much they’re actually spending. Although this may not initially be good for your budget, it may help get the market back to where it needs to be.
2. Smartphone size and shape
Similar to the fashion industry, the tech industry also has trends which go in and out of style (improving convenience, however, is always in style). Although smartphones are lighter and less bulky then their predecessors, they are getting much larger than flip phones and mini phones of the past.
Smartphones can only get so big, before the new trend will be to make them smaller. With the Apple Pay feature pushing individuals to be more reliant on their phones, the next logical step is to make smartphones smaller and easier to conceal when stepping out of the house.
3. Losing/breaking your phone
Losing your phone has always been a hassle, but with NFC technology it can be straight up debilitating. A couple weeks ago my boyfriend’s phone broke. He decided to wait to get another phone until the new iPhone 6 was out. So for 10 days he was phone-less.
Although it was a major bummer, it didn’t affect his day-to-day finances. With Apple Pay, breaking your phone could leave you in a major pinch, depending on where you are. If you are thinking of transitioning to Apple Pay or NFC payments completely, I suggest you build an emergency stash of cash.
4. Hacking your credit card information
As NFC technology becomes more prevalent, it will become increasingly difficult for certain data thieves to get your credit card information. Not only will your credit card numbers be safe from the prying eyes of hackers, but you will successfully be able to avoid card skimmers. The signal with your credit card information emitted from your phone is very weak, s0 whoever is doing the stealing would essentially have to be on top of you to pick it up. So if you’re not friends with any shady hackers, you should be safe on this front.
Note: Although some experts say NFC technology will be safer than credit cards, it does not come without disadvantages. Intelligent criminals can implant spyware on your phone if you exchange information with them. Make sure you are using mobile payment apps with companies and people you trust. Also, once your credit card information is any a company’s system it is not necessarily protected from savvy data hackers.
5. Mom and pop stores and restaurants
It’s hard to imagine a world where you wouldn’t need to have at least some sort of backup credit card, but 60 years ago people were probably thinking the same thing about cash. Now it’s rare that I see someone, aside from my father, pay with cash.
As NFC technology becomes more prevalent, consumers will continue moving further away from carrying cash and therefore be more put off by businesses that don’t accept credit cards. Unfortunately for these businesses, competing with companies that accept a wider variety of payment options may not be a feasible move.
The way you identify yourself
As the need for a wallet becomes more obsolete, it will become more inconvenient to carry an ID. It’s no secret that the government has already been playing around with next generation identification (NGI) methods, but my guess is they’ll feel more pressured to come up with a card-free system themselves.
If you’re as neurotic as I am, then you spend most of your free time Googling diseases you can get from exchanging money. Apple Pay will give you one more opportunity to avoid touching things that other humans have touched. Now you could focus your worries on more productive things like toilet seats and handshakes. Gross.
Having your card declined
To end on a positive note: getting your card declined will be a lot less mortifying and you can totally blame your phone! Still, if that does happen to you, you may need to reevaluate how often you’re using your brand new Apple Pay feature.