Over the last few years, we’ve seen advances in mobile technology that have added to our physical lives in so many ways. GPS helps us get around unfamiliar cities (especially if we’re in one of the 60 Go Roam destinations) with the ease of a local, and mobile banking means we can sling our mates a tenner […]

Over the last few years, we’ve seen advances in mobile technology that have added to our physical lives in so many ways.

GPS helps us get around unfamiliar cities (especially if we’re in one of the 60 Go Roam destinations) with the ease of a local, and mobile banking means we can sling our mates a tenner right after the cab home. But while internet shopping is both exciting and convenient, it’s sometimes just not enough for those of us who still enjoy the physical world.

We’d like to pay tribute to the best mobile tech for peeps who love the fancy bags and instant gratification of real shopping. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Apple Pay.

 

 

So what’s so great about Apple Pay?

Now, Apple Pay isn’t exactly the newest feature on the block – but as more and more shops, websites and charities sign up to take payments this way, we think it’s worth a second look if you own an iPhone or an Apple Watch and aren’t using it yet.

By hiding your payment information from prying eyes, it makes online shopping quicker and safer than using your credit or debit card by itself – even more so now the iPhone X is using facial recognition as its primary security method.

But when it comes to physical shopping it gets even better. That extra security your fingerprint or face grants you means you don’t get that £30 ‘tap-to-pay’ limit you’d get with a credit or debit card – you’re free as a bird at the checkout.

Where can I use it?

There are countless websites and apps which accept Apple Pay alongside the usual payment methods – you can even use it to book hotels and flights. But if you’re out and about, you’ll be able to use your iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for your purchases at the till wherever you see this sign.

 

Apple pay logo

 

And if you live in the big smoke, or are just visiting, Apple Pay gets even better. You can use it to tap in and out of Transport for London buses, trains and tubes – even on Thames Clippers and the Emirates Air Line cable car.

And if you end up spending more in than the cost of a daily or weekly travelcard, it gets capped at that amount – perfect for daytrippers.

 

 

How does it work?

If you have an iPhone 5s or higher, then your phone has NFC (Near Field Communication) – this enables it to exchange little blasts of information with nearby machines. This is how your phone will tell a till or paypoint that you’re sending money over.

To set up Apple Pay, you’re going to need to add one or more of your credit or debit cards to the Wallet feature on your iPhone. Once this is set up, you’re ready to go.

When it’s time to pay, hold your finger on the touch ID button or double press the side button on your Apple Watch – then move your device against the pay point.

If you have an iPhone X you’ll look into your phone instead of holding your finger on the button, then move your handset.

When your purchase has gone through you’ll get a little vibration and it’ll say ‘Done’ on your screen.

 

 

How safe is it?

It’s actually safer than using a debit or credit card, say Apple. This is all down to the parts of your payment information which Apple encrypts.

This encryption means that banks still know to pay the seller, but the seller doesn’t see your card details – they just get the money. And if prying eyes were to hack their way into that shop’s records, they’d have no way of finding your data. Sadly, it might well be a different story for those folks who’d used a card.

Apple Pay doesn’t even store your details either – your card numbers are encrypted, then stored in what’s called a Secure Element chip on your phone. Apple can’t even get at them once they’re in there, let alone decode them.

And should the worst ever happen and your phone gets stolen, you can check for and cancel recent purchases using ‘Find My iPhone’.