No, Apple Pay Is Not Going To Replace Your Wallet

Apple, today, finally gets caught up with all the other failed mobile payment systems out there, and will introduce its own mobile payments system, Apple Pay. And normally, one would perhaps have a ray of hope that Apple will be able to push this market where others have failed. One teeny, tiny problem: It relies on Apple’s notoriously awful Touch ID.

First of all, despite Apple using NFC, they’ve yet to lick a crucial problem: Namely, why we should bother uploading our credit cards into our iPhone when we’re just pulling another object out of our pockets anyway. Google couldn’t solve this, all the various Kickstarters out there couldn’t solve this, and all of them have the same problem of people asking “What happens when somebody steals my phone?” Consumers have made it fairly clear that while they might load a credit card into their phone as a backup, it’s not replacing your wallet any time soon.

Before you ask, Apple states it doesn’t collect any sales data. Which, sure, right, whatever. There are features that are pretty cool, like being networked with merchants and apps such as Uber, so loading a card on your phone and using it for those purchases will be convenient.

Ah, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to get you to throw your wallet out and just use the iPhone to pay for everything, and for that, Apple has an ace in the hole! Touch ID, their fingerprint sensor! That will make it secure, right? To give you an idea of just how secure Touch ID is, here’s a guy using it with his nipple:

Basically, you can run anything vaguely finger-like… yes, including that, across the sensor and it’ll log it. So, yeah, this will be a neat and even useful feature when it’s pushed out to iPhones next month. But a wallet replacement, it’s not.