Using Apple Pay is safer than using credit cards

There’s a genuine distrust of tech companies at the moment. Some of that is justified–companies don’t necessarily have users’ interests at heart–and some of it isn’t–many people do not understand the technical specifics of the services they use. Some skepticism is good, but I’m here to encourage people to stay safe by using a great feature on their iPhones: Apple Pay.

I’ve talked to a number of people who simply don’t trust “giving credit card numbers” to their smartphone. They think that being able to physically hold their card, swipe it when needed, and then store it in their wallet is the most secure method possible.

They are wrong.

First of all, Apple Pay on iPhone requires Touch ID or Face ID. If you lose your credit card, a thief can easily go on a spending spree. If a thief finds your iPhone, it’s nearly impossible for them to access Apple Pay without access to your fingers or your face.

Next, Apple Pay never gives your actual credit card information to vendors. Rather, Apple Pay masks your real credit card number behind a randomly generated number that is so secure it isn’t even revealed the users themselves. So, even if a nefarious vendor is up to no good, they never see your real credit card number.

Last, using Apple Pay avoids credit card skimming. In recent years, consumers have been warned to be on the look out for “skimmers,” devices that can be attached to legitimate merchants’ credit card readers for the purpose of stealing credit card numbers. As Apple Pay uses near-field communication (NFC) for payment, this is not a concern.

No form of payment is entirely secure. However, there is no question that using Apple Pay is far safer than using traditional credit cards. Healthy skepticism is a good thing, but irrational fear of technology is actually putting more consumers at risk.

 


Apple Pay is also found on watchOS, iOS for iPad, and macOS. This article focuses only on iPhone usage.