What you should know about Apple Pay

Over the next year or so, terminals like these will accept Apple Pay ... should you get this app?

As we move towards the middle of the 2010’s smartphone technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. While mobile phones were once only used to call and text people while on the go, they have now become the Swiss Army Knife of the 21st century.

People center their whole lives around their phone, and often feel a profound sense of loss when they break, or get lost/stolen. This trend is set to accelerate even further in the coming years as mobile payment apps stand ready to replace your credit and debit cards.

Among these new emerging technologies, Apple Pay has emerged as an early leader. What you should you know about Apple Pay? Below, we go over the basics concerning this nascent but groundbreaking technology…

What is Apple Pay, exactly?

Apply Pay is a mobile payment service that uses your inputted credit card information and the emerging technology of near field communication (NFC) to make the process of paying for goods and services in the brick & mortar and online worlds safer and more efficient.

Instead of pulling out cash, or a debit/credit card out of your wallet, this app will allow to transmit payment information by simply swiping your phone over a payment terminal.

How does it work?

Suppose you are on your way to the office, but as you step off the train at your subway stop, you realize you have time to duck into Starbucks for a muffin and a latte before taking the elevator up to your floor. Realizing that they have an Apple Pay terminal, you quickly jump into line, and upon reaching the front of the line, you quickly order your drink and pastry.

Using the information that you entered into Apple Pay on the weekend when you got your new iPhone 6, you put your index finger on the touch ID screen – the new iPhone 6’s fingerprint reader – and you pass your phone over the NFC terminal to transmit your payment to the store.

No rummaging around in your pocket for loose change, or exposing your credit/debit card to a potentially compromised card reader – just a quick and safe procedure, allowing you to get upstairs to your cubicle with time to spare!

Where is it accepted?

A common barrier to acceptance for many new technologies is the perception that you might have this fancy new toy, but almost nowhere to use it. Apple Pay has spent a great deal of time building partnerships with numerous well-known brands across America and the world prior to its launch.

At present, well over 200,000 stores across the country have the terminals, with exponential increases in availability as this new form of payment becomes more commonplace. While it is important to note that competitors developing their own NFC payment technology have walled off the companies that they own from accepting Apple Pay (e.g. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, etc), but a significant majority of retail brands either accept or have plans to accept this payment form, making it still a solid choice for consumers.