Top 7 myths about Apple Pay busted

As a relative new payment system, there might still be some hesitancy in using Apple Pay. This article considers some common misconceptions around Apple Pay, and the truth behind them. If you’ve been curious about digital wallets in general, this is for you.

What is Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a new class of contactless mobile payment channels that allows you to make in-store and online payments using your eligible Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac). You can use Apple Pay in person at shops, restaurants, and other venues; in iOS apps; and on some websites. It's contactless, safe and easy. And it keeps you from having to touch buttons or handle cash when you're out getting what you need.

Setting up Apple Pay is simple. You can add your credit card easily via your Apple devices. On an iPhone, this is as simple as opening the Wallet app, keying in your card details, accepting the T&Cs and verifying via an OTP sent by the bank.

You can also use your bank’s mobile app to add your card to Apple Pay. (Subject to your bank having this feature).

Common myths about Apple Pay

Myth 1: Only a few merchants accept it.

Truth: Apple Pay is widely accepted across the UAE.

Almost since its launch, many merchants across the UAE have accepted Apple Pay, principally because it works with existing systems. The UAE has been an early adopter of contactless payment terminals and nearly every merchant that accepts NFC contactless transactions will allow Apple Pay. Payment can be made wherever you see one of the below symbols.

Myth 2: Apple Pay is a hassle to use.

Truth: It’s super-easy.

Once you’ve set up Apple Pay, paying for a cup of coffee or a pair of shoes is as easy as holding your iPhone up to the contactless reader and using Touch ID or Face ID.

You can also pay in different ways: in a store with your Apple Watch or iPhone, within an app on your iPad or iPhone, or online with your iPad, iPhone, or Mac.

Using digital payments save you the hassle of fumbling through your bag for your wallet and digging out your credit card – before you’ve even made a payment. Paying for that morning coffee is faster with a digital payment technology.

Myth 3: Online payments are unsafe.

Truth: Apple Pay is one of the safest payment methods.

With the rise in cybercrimes such as phishing and fraud, you’re right to be concerned about the safety of online payments. However, when it comes to security, Apple Pay is among the safest ways to pay. When you make a purchase with Apple Pay, your actual card information is neither stored on Apple devices or servers nor shared with merchants. Second, Apple Pay purchases can only be activated upon your authority, such as by Touch ID or Face ID. So, even if you lose your phone, transactions cannot be authorized. Finally, your entire card number is never displayed on your phone. With so many layers of security, it’s hard to beat Apple Pay.

Myth 4: Cash is easier to use.

Truth: Apple Pay cuts out the effort involved with using cash.

Didn’t realize that cash requires effort? You will once you start using Apple Pay! Not only do you have to withdraw cash from an ATM and then actually find it and hand it over, you need to check and count your change. With a digital wallet, you simply hold your phone up to the terminal with your thumb on the phone’s Touch ID button or face ID to make a payment. One motion, and it’s done. The same process makes digital wallets such as Apple Pay easier to use than plastic cards.

Myth 5: There are hygiene factors to consider.

Truth: Digital wallets are more sanitary than cash.

The exponential spread of COVID-19 has made us wary of touching different surfaces, and rightly so. For those concerned about hygiene, Apple Pay ensures you do not touch buttons or handle cash when you're out getting what you need. Quickly check out using the devices you carry every day like your iPhone and Apple Watch.

Myth 6: Accounting can be hard with so many devices.

Truth: Apple Pay transactions show up on your bank statement.

Because Apple Pay is linked to your bank card, payments made using the technology appear on your Citibank Online account, Mobile banking app and monthly statement just like other credit card transactions.

Apple Pay payment confirmation will immediately be displayed on your mobile screen. You will also receive transaction confirmation by alerts or SMS on your registered mobile number.

Myth 7: There’s too much new technology to learn.

Truth: You don’t need to learn anything new.

If you’ve got an iPhone, you’re probably already using Touch ID, or a pin code, to activate your phone. Using Apple Pay is as simple as using one of these existing methods. You can quickly check out using the devices you carry everyday like your iPhone and Apple Watch. However, if you’re feeling uncomfortable about the idea of another new technology, think of it this way: digital wallets such as Apple Pay help you get the most out of your phone, using a technique you’re already familiar with.

Should you enable Apple Pay?

All things considered, smartphone wallets such as Apple Pay are an easier and quicker way to pay for purchases than existing technologies. Additionally, in view of concerns about hygiene in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s worth noting that such options are safer and more sanitary than cash – or even payment cards, which you may hand to other people. Above all, the convenience of digital wallets alone makes them worth considering.

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Keith J Fernandez is an editor and communications professional who advises on marketing content strategy. He is based between the UAE, the Netherlands and India and writes about business, technology and personal finance.

This article is intended to provide general information about finance and investments and does not replace or should be taken as professional financial advice. The content reflects the view of the author of the article and does not necessarily reflect the views of Citi or its employees, and we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in the article except information on Citibank N.A. – UAE products referenced herein.
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