In July 2015 Apple introduced Apple Pay in the UK, meaning that anyone with a compatible Apple mobile phone or apple watch could make payments in selected retailers using these devices to make contactless payments of up to £30. Samsung pay and Android Pay also use the same technology but as of writing are yet to be released in the UK.
How does it work?
By using the Near Field Communication (NFC) chips inside the mobile device all the user has to do is hold it up to the card reader with your finger on the devices’ fingerprint sensor or using the phones passcode.
So is it safe?
If we are to believe the companies offering these services then the simple answer to this is yes. Apple, Samsung and Google do not store your account or credit card details opting to use encryption therefore the retailer will never see your name or card details.
Though these payment systems are said to be safe by the companies that have implemented them, In a global study of 900 cyber security experts only 23% of these believed that mobile payments were secure in keeping personal information safe and 47% said that mobile payments were not secure. You can view the full report here
Due to the open nature of Android, devices that operate using this software might be more at risk, than those that use Apple’s closed operating system, ios, though cyber criminals will always be looking for ways to steel your information no matter.
Will I be using mobile payments?
I might be considered old school but I’m not an early adopter of new technologies so until I’m satisfied that my information is secure and safe on my phone, which might take a few years, I will continue to use chip and pin and cash.
UPDATE – I recently forgot my wallet whilst out and about and was in desperate need of petrol, luckily I had already registered my cards for mobile payments and as a result had no alternative but to use my mobile to make payments. The process was easy and I did not feel that my information was compromised, having got back home I checked my account together with my account tracker and both matched. I will continue to check my accounts to ensure that nothing looks suspect, but I have to admit that the process has certainly made a believer out of me.