Apple Pay is here and you can start using it today, provided of course you have an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.
To use it, here is what you need to do:
- Download the latest iOS update, 8.1 (126MB)
- Head to the Passbook app.
- There you can add a credit card by scanning it with the iPhone’s camera. Or you authorize the app to use your iTunes/App stored credit card.
- Find retailer that accepts Apple Pay (McDonalds, Macys, Chevron, etc) – there are apparently already 220,000 retail locations ready to accept Apple Pay
- Place your phone close by with Passbook running
- Wait for the cashier to accept payment
- Touch your finger to the Touch ID on your iPhone 6
- If all goes well you should hear a beep confirming the purchase
And here is a video of someone actually using their iPhone 6 in a McDonalds to pay for their meal. The whole process is fairly seamless, and works surprisingly well.
Needless to say, it will take some learnings on the behalf of both parties. Moreover, until it’s widely accepted, both by consumers and stores, it will likely feel a bit odd or awkward paying with the iPhone, since it’s not the assumed means of payment – credit cards and cash are.
Now in all fairness, Android has long had this function, it just hasn’t been widely adopted or marketed. I personally prefer to pay with a credit card, and since I need to carry an ID and in theory a Health Insurance card, Apple Pay isn’t about to negate the wallet for me any time soon.
And then there is the security concern. And not because Apple Pay should be any less secure than a credit card. In fact, quite the opposite since you need to authorize payment with a fingerprint each time. But consumers are weary creatures, and what they don’t understand they often fear. So again, this comes back to comfort. And once more people begin to use Apple Pay, and see their friends do it, they’ll likely become more accustom to it.