Is Apple Pay safe? What are the dangers and who can use it?

Apple Pay has quickly become one of the most popular payment methods in the UK.

In fact, Blighty topped the list of countries that used Apple Pay the most in 2021, with 63% of people using it at least once in stores or restaurants, compared to just 57% of people in the US.

Apple Pay works on both iPhone and Apple Watch


Apple Pay works on both iPhone and Apple WatchCredit: apple

This is probably due to ease of use.

By replacing your physical cards and cash with contactless payment technology that lets you pay for things using an iPhone or Apple Watch, the service makes checking out faster and life easier, whether you’re in a store, on a website or are in an app.

However, is the mobile payment and digital wallet service safe to use?

Is Apple Pay safe?

Cell phones are still there most frequently stolen item In the UK, it’s not surprising that some people are uncomfortable with having their bank cards available digitally on their phones.

And with online fraud and Cyber ​​crime on the riseit is always a risk to have your bank details on a device that is constantly connected to the internet.

According to Apple, the mobile payment service is not only completely safe to use, but even more secure than using a physical credit, debit or prepaid card.

This, according to the smartphone maker, is because Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode are required for purchases on any Apple device, be it an iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, or iPad.

According to UK banking giant Barclays, Apple Pay is “a very secure way to make payments” because your card numbers aren’t stored on your device and are never shared with merchants or sent with your payment.

Instead, Apple Pay gives you a unique “device account number” that’s encrypted and stored in a secure part of your device. So when you use Apple Pay, your device account number and a specially created security code are used to process the payment.

According to Apple, if you pay with a debit or credit card, Apple does not store any transaction information that can be traced back to you.

Even if you lose or have your iPhone or Apple Watch stolen and are concerned that someone might use your cards without your permission, thieves can’t use Apple Pay because every transaction must be authorized by either your fingerprint, face, or passcode.

Whoever finds your lost iPhone can see your billing address and the last four digits of your saved cards, but no more information.

What are the dangers of Apple Pay?

Apple Pay has proven to be a very secure payment method since its launch in the UK in 2015 and there have been very few instances where users have faced fraud as a result of using the service.

However, nothing is always 100% secure and vulnerabilities are sometimes discovered that could put users at risk.

For example, in September, researchers from the Universities of Birmingham and Surrey discovered an iPhone flaw that means hackers could force your locked device to make large unauthorized contactless payments.

The critical issue was uncovered during an Apple Pay hack experiment that showed how a locked iPhone could be opened to make a £1,000 Visa contactless payment into their account.

However, this type of attack is extremely rare. Visa also said it’s impractical outside of a lab setting and that its payments are secure.

Another potential danger to be aware of is that your iPhone is connected to a public network when using Apple Pay.

By default, iPhones automatically search for available Wi-Fi connections and sometimes connect to them. And since public networks are often under attack by hackers waiting to override unsecured financial transactions like unauthorized contactless payments, it pays to be vigilant.

However, Apple Pay uses NFC chips to make contactless payment transactions, so you don’t need an internet connection for it to work.

To be extra safe, it may be worth turning off Wi-Fi connectivity when shopping as a precaution, or checking that you’re not connected to a public network before paying with Apple Pay

“There have been few to no incidents of equipment being compromised [as a result of using Apple Pay] and this only in cases where the phone’s software has already been tampered with‘ said Kent Vorland, CEO of global payments company SimplyPayMe, speaking to The Sun.

Vorland adds that any risk in using Apple Pay generally stems from the consumer’s level of security for accessing their device, such as: B. Passcode or biometric layers (facial or fingerprint technology).

“When these layers of security are in place, Apple’s solution can be more secure than paying with your traditional credit or debit card in many cases, especially if that card is contactless, as it’s just a matter of tapping a stolen card at terminals anywhere to complete transactions authorize.”

Who can use Apple Pay?

Anyone can use Apple Pay as long as they have an Apple device and their bank supports it. In the UK, American Express, Mastercard or Visa holders can easily use the service when banking with the following banks:

HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Ulster Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds, MBNA, M&S Bank, TSB and Tesco Bank.

Although, as expected, Apple Pay does not work on Android devices. Google Pay, the Android version of Apple Pay, is the preferred contactless payment method for Android users and works in a very similar way.

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