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What is Apple Pay?

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customer using their card on pin pad

The newer models of the iPhone gives you the ability to purchase items and conduct online shopping with your device. Technology has advanced so much in the last few years manufacturers and stores are now developing mobile payment systems.

These mobile services have technically existed since at least 1997, according to the Near Field Communication organization. Soft-drink giant Coca-Cola developed vending machines where consumers could make mobile purchases by sending a text message to the machine, which would then process the order. Only a limited number of these vending machines were produced.

Contactless payments also fall under the mobile payment umbrella. Essentially, consumers purchase devices containing a special chip. They approach the payment terminal and hover the device over it to make a purchase. Speedpass was another innovation and offered by Mobile gas stations. It was the first to take advantage of contactless payments.

Mobile payments have evolved since, with many of technology's leading companies incorporating the technology into the newest smartphone devices.

What are the Technical Details?
Mobile payments transmit data wirelessly. This is enabled because smartphones are built with a special chip component which transmits radio frequencies to a payment device also built with a radio frequency chip. In essence, your phone "talks" with the payment data to transmit financial information to allow you to purchase something.

The technology world has since dubbed this feature near-field communications, according to Techradar. The components work in a secure manner to protect your financial information.

How Do I Set it Up?
The current offering of mobile payments all revolve around contactless payments and storing your credit and debit card information on your device. The big three services are offered by Apple, Google, and Samsung.

  • First you'll need a compatible iPhone, starting with the sixth generation, or a compatible Android device.
  • Head to your device's Settings and scroll down to the subsection labeled Apple Pay or Android Pay.
  • To add your card, hit the area that says "Add Credit or Debit Card"
  • Follow the on-screen prompts 

All told, the process shouldn't take longer than five minutes.

If you don't have TouchID already set up, you'll need to set this up as well. Go back to Settings and hit the Touch ID & Passcode subsection. Again, follow the on-screen prompt to set this feature up. You're now ready to head out and use the mobile payment system.


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