Apple Pay, One App Too Far?

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By Maria Loizou

We are living in the constantly high-speed, rapidly moving world of technology, where it feels like our phones can give us everything. Day-by-day this seems to eradicate our needs for simple activities. Why should we buy a newspaper? There’s hundreds of news sites available. Why would we carry around a camera? There’s one built in your phone. Do you want Jane Austen quotes delivered to you on a daily basis? Why not – you can. As the now far too common phrase says ‘There’s an app for that’. And now, with Apple Pay joining all of our everyday banks, we can pay for items with our phones. Is this a step too far, or is it making our lives easier?

Apple Pay is similar to Contactless Payment on your card, but is marketed as more convenient as you won’t need to carry your bank card to make a purchase up to £30. You can currently use this service in a variety of retailers and this is constantly growing. So whether you’re grabbing a drink, buying some accessories, or simply sending a letter, you can do and buy everything you need from the palm of your hand. This has been welcomed by many in what seems to be an Apple-Centric world, with many people relying on it for ‘easy transactions’. This begs the question, why are we always trying to make things easy? How has it become that we live in a world where we deem it necessary to simplify something like paying for an item?

In my opinion, Apple Pay is just one app too many in this modern, digitalised world that we live in. I will admit, I use contactless payment on my debit card on a regular basis and it is more convenient. However, the idea of paying for things through my phone feels bizarre. Smartphones are a fantastic invention, and I would struggle without mine. But when it comes to it, is it really difficult carrying a debit card? We’ve been doing just fine without Apple Pay so far, should we rely on it? What if we go out with just our phones to pay with, and the transaction falls over £30?

If it’s a question of security, it has to be said contactless payment is doesn’t seem as safe as Apple Pay. With finger printing and password security in comparison to simply scanning a card, it’s evident which one is considered as more secure. Yet, if we can pay for items with our phones, wouldn’t it also be possible for people to hack them, and become fraudulent with our details? We may be safe for now, but consider that hackers will be desperate to access our personal accounts, and it would be more difficult to notice than a stolen card.

The use of smartphones and tablets for everyday tasks is helpful, but what seems to me to be more important is to not let technology take over. As a Literature student I prefer nothing more to buying a physical book, but sometimes it’s more cost-effective to purchase an E-Book on my iPad. In this day and age it’s important to learn the balance of moving with the times, but also keeping more traditional values going. And finally, why do we always need to use a card or a phone anyway? How about trying the old fashioned way of paying by cash, surely that’s a better way of managing money? Managing money hey… how do you do that? Oh, never mind- ‘There’s an app for that’.

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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