Apple Pay method is a new way for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users to purchase goods and services without disclosing their debit or credit cards or any other bank information to merchants, thus remaining anonymous. All the users need to do is register a Device Account Number (DAN) with their iDevice and start paying through it. Well, it appears that Apple’s promises are brighter than reality itself.
A big part of the method development work has been done in collaboration with banks and debit or credit card issuers. It consists of the iDevice not storing the users’ debit and credit card or bank information but the specific unique code matching the card with the device – DAN. If somebody is trying to use the iDevice with different DAN or vice versa the payment will just not go through. This is applicable only if there are no bugs or mistakes in the development of the method, of course.
However, the method is pretty safe when it comes to security. All users will have to do if a device is stolen or lost is just cancel their DAN number and not their debit or credit card numbers. This is one really good side of the new Apple Pay method altogether with integrating it with other smart phone applications.
Speaking of privacy Apple are not trying to see what you bought and are not disclosing your debit or credit card or bank information to the merchant either.
‘Apple Pay is also designed to protect your personal information. Apple Pay doesn’t collect any transaction information that can be tied back to you. Payment transactions are between you, the merchant, and your bank.‘ is said in Apple Pay security and privacy overview.
Actually some of the merchants complain of the new Apple Pay process. In an article in Bloomberg Businessweek some of them raise their concerns on how for example customers will take part in their loyalty programs when staying anonymous. Denée Carrington, an analyst at Forrester Research thinks that some stores might not embrace the new method without a good reason doing so. All in all what it does now is offering a better experience to the customers, but not to the merchants. ‘Data privacy is a double-edged sword, ‘, she says.
The purchase amount, the time and the place of the financial operation are still known to Apple and your credit or debit card issuer using Apple Pay as well. All somebody needs to do is match that information to what the merchant knows – the actual service or goods purchased – and share it with someone concerned. This can either be done by a direct matching between the payment information and the merchant’s data logs, or through giving that information to data brokers like Equifax, Acxiom, Datalogix or Experian, or connecting that data with some of the already installed log-in applications on your iDevice.
Now add to all that the fact that the camera-security face recognition business is getting much better and think about what can really be private these days.