Fumbling through purses and wallets for a credit card might become a thing of the past with the launch of a new Apple service this week.
Apple Pay debuted on Monday and gives iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users the ability to make payments straight from their phones.
“Apple’s vision is to replace the wallet,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook during a keynote address last month.
To enable Apple Pay, users simply hold their phone over an NFC (near field communication chip) receiver and wait for the phone to do the rest. A screen will appear asking for Touch ID, Apple’s fingerprint security system. Once the fingerprint has been scanned, the transaction will go through. A vibration will alert the user upon successful completion.
One student, Samuel Gubler, said he was surprised how easy it was to use.
“I went to McDonald’s, ordered, then fumbled with my phone for a second and tried to figure out what I was supposed to do,” said Gubler, a senior studying computer science. “I opened the Passbook app and looked for a ‘Pay with this Card’ option or something. After not finding it, I tried simply putting the phone next to the NFC reader. Like magic the screen changed, prompting me to put my thumb on the Touch ID to authorize the payment. A satisfying pulse of the phone indicated with the changing of the screen the payment had been accepted.”
Apple Pay can be used not just at retail point of sale but also in the app store, iTunes and other locations where purchases are made.
“Gone are the days of searching for your wallet. The wasted moments finding the right card. Now payments happen with a single touch,” according to Apple’s website.
Not all banks and stores are accepting Apple Pay, but as the year progresses more will begin to allow the service. Only 220,000 stores nationwide currently accept the payment system.
Apple claims that Apple Pay is more safe than using actual debit and credit cards and that personal information is not stored on Apple servers. All personal information is stored securely in a chip inside the phone, and card numbers and security codes are not shown.
Erin Anderson, a student who studied psychology, said she doesn’t think this service is any more secure than other paying methods.
“It seems like … one more place for hackers to get personal information,” she said.
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched for sale on Sept. 19. Apple reported that more than 10 million new phones were sold in three days, according to an Apple news release. With more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users, Apple Pay will truly shape how consumers shop. Will cash and credit and debit cards become a thing in the past? Only time will tell as more people use digital payment options.