At its much-anticipated event in Cupertino, California, today, Apple unveiled plans for a new mobile payment system.
CEO Tim Cook began the event by introducing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. But the new iPhone wasn't the only new thing on Cook's agenda — he also introduced Apple's new wireless mobile payment system, which some are already speculating could "kill the credit card."
When introducing Apple's new mobile payment system, Apple Pay, Cook began by explaining the hassle and lack of security that comes with credit card use. He described the process of scrambling for a credit card as "outdated," and added that cards are an easy target for hackers. To combat this, Apple Pay uses a dynamic security code rather than the security number on the back of credit cards, and it can be connected to Find My iPhone to deactivate Apple Pay in the case of theft — a process that should be faster and less hassle than having to cancel a credit card.
Apple Pay is built into every iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and uses near-field communications (NFC), in conjunction Apple's Touch ID and Passbook features. Google has supported NFC in the past, but Apple has long resisted adding NFC to its devices. Now, the two companies will be able to "go head to head on the same playing field," Forbes reports. NFC "allows data transfers between devices without using a cellular network, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth," The Verge reports. While other devices have used NFC to do things like connect cameras and printers, Apple's use of NFC will allow its users to use their phones in place of credit cards.
Apple pay can be used at more than 220,000 merchants nationwide, including department stores like Macy's and Bloomingdale's, and Apple is working with additional retailers to support Apple Pay in the future.