App Development

iOS 8 First Look: Apple Pay - Top 3 Things to Know

Beyond the exciting news surrounding the Apple Watch and iPhone 6, Apple’s announcement of their new Apple Pay platform is arguably one of most revolutionary changes out of this year’s iOS 8 event. Apple’s push into the mobile payment space will not only be a huge benefit for iPhone users but will also help bring NFC and mobile payments into the mainstream. Here are the top 3 things you need to know about this new and and very exciting platform from Apple:

1. NFC Payments Apple Pay opens up the world of NFC contact-less payments to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users. It’s going to be very easy for people to get started with Apple Pay. Here’s how it will work:

  • Users can simply opt to use the primary credit card Apple already has on file for them in iTunes. If a user wants to add a different card, all they have to do is take a photo of that card and add it to the Passbook app.
  • Once a credit card is added to the device, the information used to make a payment is stored in the iPhone 6’s secure element. This ensures the integrity of the card information as Apple does not store your card or payment history to keep your data private.
  • Once the cards are set up, the user can simply scan their finger using the TouchID sensor and tap the phone or Apple Watch to the payment terminal to pay for items in-store. Apple is also supporting NFC payments for users with iPhone 5 and 5s that purchase the new Apple watch, allowing users with older devices to join the NFC payment world. If your device is ever lost or stolen, Apple has also provided a method to remotely disable purchasing power of a device to keep your payment information safe.

2. In-app Payments As part of the Apple Pay release, Apple is providing developers the ability to roll out support in their apps for Apple Pay. Apple has extended the PassKit APIs, allowing developers to request a payment or recurring payment for a physical good or service. This will make it even easier for users to purchase items from within apps and make payments as their credit card information will already be stored in their device. Additionally, it presents a huge opportunity for usability improvements within apps that sell goods, as users will no longer need to manually input all of their payment information each time they want to make a purchase. Coupled with the security provided by TouchID, payments can now be biometrically secured too, adding one more additional layer of protection to user data.

3. Apple Pay Integration Details There are a few things that are important to note regarding the integration with Apple Pay:

  • The Apple Pay SDK only provides the information to request a payment and to receive a bundle that approves the payment and has information on the purchase amounts. The final purchase is still handled by a payment gateway. Apple has a list of providers that already provide this support in their SDKs, or you can also roll your own solution.
  • In-app purchases are still used for digital goods and services. Apple Pay is meant for physical goods and services. Unlike in-app purchases, Apple does not take their traditional cut for purchases made with Apple Pay.
  • In-app Apple Pay will only be available on the new iPhone 6 models or when paired with an Apple Watch.

Overall Apple Pay is an exciting and compelling new feature of iOS and we look forward to integrating this solution to make mobile payments even easier.

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