Today's Apple Pay launch has split onlookers, with one expert predicting it will become the "de facto standard in payments" and others airing concerns about its security and potential appeal to retail customers.
The payment method is available now on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple Watch, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 on iOS 8.3 or later in the UK.
Users will now be able to leave their wallets at home thanks to the iOS-based payment solution, which allows people to upload their card details from participating banks onto their near field communications-enabled (NFC) Apple devices.
Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, was among those to cheer Apple Pay's launch, arguing it may become the "de facto standard in payments" much like iTunes revolutionised music.
He added that the use of fingerprints to authorise payments and encrypted ID numbers should dampen fears that mobile payments are not secure, as no card details are being shared.
Doku said: "Much has been made of the fact that no credit card data is stored on Apple servers, shared with merchants, or transmitted with payments. All this means details are less likely to be stolen and misused. In short, Apple Pay is actually a safer way to pay than using cards and cash in your wallet or purse."
However, Yo Delmar, vice president of governance, risk and compliance at MetricStream, said users must be on their toes when using the platform.
"The fact that account numbers are now stored on devices, not on Apple's servers, means it will reduce the risk of credit card theft and security breaches," she said. "However, we can still expect cyber-hackers to put significant energy into discovering new ways to break into NFC systems to harvest the data. The potential treasure trove of information is too great to ignore."
Meanwhile, Dan Wagner, chief executive of e-commerce company Powa Technologies, thought Apple had missed a trick by using just NFC. He claimed what users really want is a range of payment options that allows them to purchase items anywhere, anytime and from any device.
"The decision to use only NFC also drastically reduces the scope of its usage for retailers as they have to support NFC terminals. Apple Pay does not support online shopping either – once again limiting what consumers can use it for," he said.
"Despite Apple being an instantly recognisable brand, Apple Pay's limitations mean it can only be seen as just another way to pay for things. To stand out in an already crowded market, new entrants should provide more than just a payments service. Many retailers don't see a benefit in Apple Pay because they want a solution that will help them create an omnichannel sales offering, engage better with their customers and understand their shopping habits."
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