Is Apple Pay safe and secure?

In 2015 Apple Pay will be released outside the United States, giving millions more people the chance to pay for things directly from their iPhone. Many of these have only one question about Apple Pay; is it safe? And is it as secure as normal cards?


Apple Pay works by taking your real card details (the long number, the expiry date, and the three digit CVV number on the back) and storing them securely on the iPhone. Once entered, only you can access them with your fingerprint through Touch ID.


Then, whenever you pay for something, instead of your real card details being sent to the person you’re buying from, the iPhone sends what’s called a ‘token’. This token contains all the data needed to make a payment.


This means that whenever you pay for something, the shop will never know your actual card details. This is more secure than normal chip-and-pin cards, and those that you swipe and then sign your name. This is because companies can be hacked, and your actual card details stolen.


If anyone stole your token it wouldn’t matter, as they are generated by Apple Pay for a single use and only work for a short period of time.


Apple Pay is also safe because it needs your fingerprint to make a payment, which is incredibly hard to fake. That means that even if you lost your phone, the thief cannot pay for something. If you lose your wallet or purse in real life, there is a real chance that your cards will be misused, and sometimes your card can be cloned without your knowledge.


Thieves could in theory stand very near you when you pay and use sophisticated equipment to intercept the token. But even then, they would only have the data on the token. Hacks using Apple Pay are so far limited to thieves stealing card details in traditional ways, and entering them into their own iPhones as if they were a legitimate card. Then they could use Apple Pay, just like it was their own card.


Apple Pay is a safe and secure payment option, and is widely used in the United States, without any trouble. Of course, no system can even be 100% safe, but if you have it on your iPhone or Apple Watch, we’d recommend giving it a try. It’s certainly very convenient, fast, and secure.