Apple Pay isn't the first mobile payment service.
Google Wallet and PayPal have been in the game for much longer and will also influence a future in which we pay for everything with our phones.
Checking out with Apple Pay is a breeze, but where it really wins
Like Google wallet and PayPal, Apple leverages tokenization.
So, the merchant never sees your credit card numbers.
Tokens are stored in a chip called the secure element, which can only be accessed with your fingerprint.
And that's Apple's greatest access.
It's the only service that uses biometric security as a standard.
But you will need an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to use Apple Pay, and the service is only supported by about 220,000 merchants, which sounds like a lot, but is a small subset of the millions of retailers in the United States.
Google Wallet is equally easy to use, but quickly surpasses Apple Pay's functionality.
Loyalty cards can be stored on your wallet, plus you can use it to send money to friends.
And many online retailers accept it too.
Something called host card emulation.
Instead of storing tokens and hardware like the secure element.
Google stores that data in the cloud.
That enables Wallet to work with more devices, but it also opens doors to more security issues.
And then there's PayPal.
The company has been processing payments for 15 years, and they're pretty good at it.
The major difference here is the way you pay.
When you arrive at a store, you'll check in using the PayPal app before completing your transaction.
Because of this, you will need cellular reception to make purchases.
PayPal's pay-by-phone tech hasn't made it into many stores, so you'll be hard-pressed to find it in chain-stores and other retailers.
But if you are a seasoned PayPal user, adopting the app is a no-brainer.
No matter which service you end up choosing, don't recycle your old fashioned leather wallet just yet.
It'll take time before most merchants are ready to support mobile payment technology.
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