How Apple Pay Doesn’t Help Personal Finance

Bruce Heen

Through the eyes of personal finance, Apple Pay is not as exciting as it was projected to be. Although boasting numerous pros, its plaguing cons have dubbed the program disappointing.

Apple had a wonderful opportunity to accomplish what Google failed with Google Wallet. It was widely anticipated, and nearly error-free as a mobile payment standard that is better than swiping a card. Apple Pay’s NFC token-based system which is based on a relatively new and important standard called, EMV Payment Tokenization, ensures that no party except your card issuer ever stores your personal card info. If Apple Pay becomes popular enough, it could mean that hackers would have a much harder time accessing accounts and fraud could fall significantly.

Cards for Apple Pay and transactions made with Apple Pay appear in iOS’s Passbook app, which could be transformed from tickets and coupons aggregator to the nexus of many iPhone users’ financial lives. A step in the right direction, it makes it far easier for us to check in on our accounts wherever we are and help us gain an often elusive sense of control over our money.

However, this is where the pros end. Apple Pay only shows you in passbook the most recent purchases you have made on its own network. Because such a small amount of merchants have the capability for Apple Pay, most of the spending will not come up on Passbook which was never designed as a personal finance account aggregator.

Apple Pay launches for in-app payments, we may finally see micro-payments take off. That will make the challenge of tracking your spending from multiple sources even more acute. Aside from the great security potential of the Apple Pay, is it worth it? It looks like a revolutionary technological security and environmental innovation that has the potential, but needs more work.

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