Apple launched a new payment system that will allow users to pay using their phones in shops and online.
The system uses a ‘secure element’ chip built into the new phones, that will keep people’s details safe. Apple executives also stressed that Apple will keep no information during the transaction — emphasising Apple’s security after its cloud computing service iCloud was implicated in leaks of celebrity pictures last week.
The scheme is beginning in the US, with card providers including Visa. The biggest banks in the country also signed up to be part of the scheme, and Apple said it was working to bring the technology to other countries.
Customers can use ApplePay with shops that take contactless payments. But Apple has also partnered with chains including Whole Foods, McDonalds (including the drive through) and Subway.
The software will also be used in online payments.
ApplePay will use existing iTunes accounts. But users can also take a picture of their cards, which will then be checked with their bank and added to their phone.
When a phone is successfully touched to pay, a little jingle plays alerting users that the price has gone through.
A new one time security code means that payments will stay secure.
“No wonder people have dreamed of replacing these for years,” said Tim Cook, introducing the system. “But they’ve all failed.”
“The whole process is based on this little piece of plastic,” he said, calling card payments outdated and vulnerable.