Recently, the payment industry has been a-buzz about reports that Apple Pay may be suffering from security weaknesses. While Apple Pay offers simplicity and speed for users, it is really worth the risks? Or is all the discussion of potential fraud just a bunch of media hype?
Apple Pay 101
Apple Pay is a mobile payment service that allows consumers to make credit and debit payments directly from their iPhone 6, 6 Plus and the highly anticipated Apple Watch.
Think of it like a digital, mobile wallet.
Apple pay allows users to import their credit card information from their iTunes account into the Passbook application on their device. Once set up, customers can simply wave their phone over a Near Field Communication (NFC) terminal, located in a wide range of retail stores across the country, to make a purchase.
How Secure is the Apple Pay System?
When Apple Pay launched in October 2014, it was touted as being an “easy, secure and private” mobile payment solution. And up until recently, all was going smoothly. So what’s the real deal with all of this talk about fraud and security risks?
Fact: Fraudulent charges are being made through Apple Pay. Some estimates report that upwards of 6% of transactions made via Apple Pay are fraudulent.
However, it’s important for consumers to understand that Apple Pay accounts are not being hacked. The data infrastructure on Apple’s part is up to standards. The problem lies within the provisioning; a process in which banks verify the legitimacy of cards when they’re uploaded to Apple Pay. What’s happening is that criminals are taking stolen credit card information, creating iTunes accounts, using those accounts to provision Apple Pay accounts and then making fraudulent purchases.
At this time, consumers do not need to be overly concerned about the security of their credit card data once it’s uploaded to Apple Pay, but that doesn’t mean they’re not at risk. Consumers should always take extreme caution when sharing their credit card information to ensure that it’s going into the right hands.
Be Prepared! What Merchants Need to Know
The payment landscape is changing rapidly and for merchants, the most critical thing to take away from this discussion is an understanding of the importance of payment processing security.
Even the most diligent merchants experience fraud, but there are a number of ways that businesses can make transactions more secure for their customers. As Apple Pay and other mobile payment technologies become more integrated into the payment industry, more security weaknesses will likely emerge, and alternate solutions will need to be implemented.
During this time of transition, it’s important for you, as a business owner, to stay informed on all of the latest payment technologies and trends, and be sure that you have systems in place to ensure maximum security for your customers’ payment information.
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