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Apple Pay, Your Wallet, Without the Wallet

8 Oct 2014

Apple’s NFC-enabled payment product isn’t currently available to consumers, as it will be enabled later in October on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus following an iOS 8 update, but it’s already seen as the “player to beat,” according to Morgan Stanley.

“By reducing fraud, improving data security, and increasing credit/debit volumes for issuers and networks, while protecting the value of the existing payments value chain, we believe Apple Pay has a high chance of success,” Morgan Stanley analyst Craig Hettenbach iucsaid in a note to investors seen by AppleInsider. “Apple’s market share in the U.S., its exposure to a relatively affluent demographic, and the ease of use along with a unique form factor (Apple Watch) position Apple Pay as the player to beat in the mobile wallet space.”

“Most other players looking to launch mobile wallets have either struggled with making the package sufficiently cost effective/attractive for merchants (PayPal, Square, Google Wallet) or sufficiently intuitive and convenient for the consumer (Isis/SoftCard, other telco wallets),” he added. “We think Apple may have solved both problems in one application.”

American Express, Bank of America, Citi were some of the banks who have agreed to partner up with Apple for Apple Pay, accepting the conditions Apple asked for, and thus making sure they’re on board from the get-go rather than being left outside. PayPal, on the other hand, missed out on the Apple Pay deal even though it negotiated with Apple early during development, after also inking a payments partnership with Samsung.

The fact that Apple Pay uses a pre-existing payment infrastructure and NFC technology is seen as another factor that will lead to its success, and with it, to the increase in popularity of contactless payment options.

Every time you hand over your credit or debit card to pay, your card number and identity are visible. With Apple Pay, instead of using your actual credit and debit card numbers when you add your card, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element, a dedicated chip in iPhone and Apple Watch. These numbers are never stored on Apple servers. And when you make a purchase, the Device Account Number alongside a transaction-specific dynamic security code is used to process your payment. So your actual credit or debit card numbers are never shared by Apple with merchants or transmitted with payment.

The analyst also said he expects 50% of payment terminals to be compatible with NFC-based payment options by October 2015.

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Access Control Systems using Power over Ethernet (PoE) Technology from Borer