Published in El Pais, 2 April 2019.
Four years ago, Apple delved into the payment industry with the introduction of Apple Pay. Starting with the iPhone 6 users can upload their debit and credit card information to their device and use their phone to pay for goods and services. It sounds gimmicky at first, but women liked the idea of just carrying their phone rather than their purse and men adapted as well as it was much easier to get out your phone than your wallet. The problem with Apple pay was not with their users however but with the banks that supported them. As they would soon notice fraudsters were also fans of Apple pay as they had a much easier time loading stolen debit and credit cards onto their phone than to copy sophisticated chip software on a blank card. Banks and Apple pointed fingers at each other as to who was at fault, but Apple may have found a solution with their latest product, a credit card.
There are a bunch of features that Apple is boasting such as lower interest rates, 2 percent cash back and no late fees that I will not go into as there is only one feature on this credit card that interests me. The credit card does not look like your standard card. On it there are no numbers no CVVs (the number on the back) and no names. All this is stored on your accompanied Apple device, essentially giving fraudsters nothing to steal and no way to duplicate your card, at least not with the techniques they are currently using.
Of course, there are loads of problems to mention. For instance, owning an iPhone, whether your bank has partnered with Apple, or that the store accepts Apple Pay. This can be frustrating if you don’t check of all this previously. But if this credit card is successful, other banks and credit card companies will make their own copycats and likely make them compatible on as many devices as possible, not just iPhone.
Will I use the card myself? Who knows, I do have an iPhone, but I will be keeping an eye on its progress. The world of payment systems seems to be heading for a major overhaul. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.