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Apple Pay Gives Users New Ways to Throw Their Money at People

Posted by Rob Thomas on September 9th, 2014

Broken livestream be damned, Apple barreled bravely forward with their highly anticipated press conference today in California. One of the biggest announcements to come out of it was the reveal of the new Apple Pay virtual wallet service.

Relying on an NFC chip mounted inside the top edge of both the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay will allow consumers to do away with all of the fumbling around with silly, outdated ideas like cards, IDs, and security codes. Working in combination with the Touch ID sensor located in the Home button, Apple Pay will theoretically make the payment methods stored in your stolen phone useless to thieves - unless they get the bright idea to begin lopping off fingers, I suppose. But even if that should be the case, there’s no need to cancel your cards on your way to the hospital as payments from the device can be shut off via Find My iPhone. Pretty nice to not have to deal with that whole hassle, I would say.

Apple Pay integrates with Passbook and can import the credit card that users already have on file with iTunes. Using the iPhone’s camera, they can also snap pictures of their other cards to add them to the options on file as well, but apparently the credit card number itself is stored on neither the device, nor Apple’s servers. Instead, each transaction will be authorized by a one-time use unique transaction number and a dynamic, shifting security code. Let’s hope this calms fears of trusting cash to the cloud in the wake of last week’s leaked celebrity selfie disaster.

Starting off, Apple Pay will work with all three of the major credit card providers (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover), as well as pretty much all of the major U.S. banks, totaling 83% of the consumer purchase volume. There are also deals in place for a growing number of retailers, restaurants, and other folks who want your money to use Apple Pay as it launches. McDonalds, Panera, Whole Foods, Walgreens, Staples, and more are already involved, with Disney, Chipotle, Sephora, Nordstrom, and others due by the end of the year.

Apple Pay is only available with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and is due to roll out in the U.S. this October, with the rest of the world still to be announced. Provided they can actually suss out the security issues, I have to admit this does sound like a pretty neat idea. A growing number of retailers have NFC readers at their point-of-sale and it certainly beats having to fumble with your ID when that one store decides to ask for it when a dozen others never bother.

What do you think? Are you ready to abandon your actual wallets just yet and trust that your iPhone’s battery won’t die during a particularly long day out? Let us know how you feel below.

Easily Manage Your Money with Upcoming Akimbo Visa App

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on February 28th, 2012

As we move closer to the mythical digital wallet, credit card companies are working overtime to come up with ways to allow users easy access to their accounts via their phone. Visa is now jumping into the fray with their Akimbo Card, letting cardholders transfer money to and from their accounts digitally, as well as instantly sending money to friends and loved ones via email, Facebook or text message. Suddenly spending money just got a whole lot simpler.

In addition to its other functions, Visa is touting Akimbo as a safe spending option when shopping online or traveling abroad. The idea is that instead of carrying your bank debit card or connecting various online vendors to your checking account, you instead load up your Akimbo card and use that for your shopping. That way, if the card's lost or stolen there's no way for someone to access your actual bank accounts, and your money stays safe. For some this seems like a hassle and an unhelpful extra step, but for those who are extra-sensitive about identity theft or fraud it may be a bit of a comfort.

Sadly we don't have a release date for the Akimbo app yet, but those interested in the service can head over to the Akimbo website and apply for a card right now.