Apple Pay is Apple's contact-less payment system. Combining NFC technology with personal authentication, Apple Pay promises to revolutionize the way we pay with our smartphones.
Apple Pay will work with all existing American Express, MasterCard and Visa debit and credit cards issued by many popular banks including Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo. Apple is touting that this covers over 80% of cardholders in the United States. In order to use Apple Pay at brick and mortar stores, customers will need either an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or an Apple Watch which can then be paired with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5c. Older iPhone models will not be supported. However, devices with Touch ID capability that don't have NFC can still use Apple Pay for online purchases in apps that support them, such as the Apple Store app, Amazon, and many more.
Where security is concerned, Apple has taken serious consideration. Apple Pay does not store your actual card numbers on your device or on Apple's servers. Instead, each Apple Pay customer is assigned a unique device account number that is only used once. Apple Pay will then create a dynamic security code in order to validate and process each transaction. This means that if anyone ever got ahold of your iPhone, they wouldn't be able to view actual card numbers. And since Apple Pay uses Touch ID for authentication, this helps prevent unauthorized use of the service. Not only that, large data breaches at major merchants would only result in hackers receiving one-time use codes that are already useless.
Apple Pay currently works with over 200,000 merchants across the United States including every Apple Store, Bloomingdales, Walt Disney, McDonalds, and Walgreens. If you have questions about whether or not your bank supports Apple Pay, we suggest checking their website or calling for details.