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Security, payments experts talk Apple Pay

Al Sacco | Oct. 24, 2014
Three security and payments industry experts discuss the pros and cons of Apple's new iPhone-based contactless payment system, Apple Pay.

He also warns that even if Apple does everything it can to ensure security, the problems could come from the merchant's side. "These are new technologies being rolled out, so Apple will have to keep its end secure," Orozco says. "But there's the other end of the transaction where vulnerabilities can also be found, whether it be in-app purchases or the software used at the register."

Apple's closed approach to payments could also further fragment and complicate the mobile payments space. That might not be a good thing for consumers, according to Orozco.

"Being that this is Apple, everything will be closed off," Orozco says. "As other vendors adopt similar technology, merchants will have to continually adopt the new technologies in order to support the different methods. The more variables you add to the software, the more potential for mistakes." 

Pearce also says Apple Pay could lead to new methods of phishing and social engineering. For example, a hacker could potentially access the iOS Passbook app, which houses the Apple Pay payment information on users' device, and serve up false messages saying credit card information must be reentered to then steal the sensitive data. 

"The security element is great, biometric is fantastic, but I want to be careful about leveraging any new technology," Olynick says. "Apple Pay is getting a lot of press, and the bad guys are out there working really hard trying to figure out how they can get into this."

You can learn more about Apple Pay on the company's iPhone 6 website.


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