APPLE WILL LAUNCH its NFC payment service, Apple Pay, on 20 October, but only in the US.
Hitting the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Monday via a chip called Secure Element, which stores payment information in an encrypted format, the system is designed to protect the user's personal information and does not collect any transaction information that can be tied back to a user.
Supporting credit and debit cards from the three major payment networks, American Express, MasterCard and Visa, from launch day, Apple has promised that Apple Pay is secure, and a fitting part of hardware that includes the "biggest advancements in iPhone history", according to CEO Tim Cook.
To make it secure, Cook explained during a keynote on Thursday that transactions are just between the user, the merchant and the user's bank, and Apple does not collect any purchase history.
This means that when users are shopping in a store or restaurant Apple doesn't know what they bought, where they bought it or how much they paid for it.
"Actual card numbers are not stored on the device. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is created, encrypted and stored in the Secure Element. The Device Account Number in the Secure Element is walled off from iOS and not backed up to iCloud," the firm explained.
Apple said that Apple Pay can be used for physical goods and services in 220,000 stores at launch, and that all people need to do to make a secure transaction is wave their phone in the direction of a near field communications reader while holding down the Touch ID button.
However, the 20 October date does not refer to a UK launch. While unconfirmed, Visa told The INQUIRER in September that Apple Pay will arrive with merchants in Europe next year.
No exact launch date has been mentioned, but fingers are pointing to the middle of 2015. µ
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