In today’s digital age, personal finance and cutting-edge technology are increasingly integrated. But, keeping on top of money matters can be challenging enough without heading up the tech pack. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce guest writer Justin Kozuch, blogger and commentator on all things social media, communications and gadget. Read on for the first in his “funance and tech” series.
By: Justin Kozuch
As mobile devices play an increasingly important role in our daily lives, hardware manufacturers and software developers are tapping into this zeitgeist by making it more convenient for consumers to buy goods and services with the same devices we use to text, tweet and Instagram the world around us.
Apple Moves In On Mobile Payments
Apple, no wallflower when it comes to innovation in both the hardware and software space, has partnered with MasterCard, Visa and American Express to create a mobile payment system that would allow consumers to pay for their purchases using only their iPhone. In fact, they’ve been trialling such a system in their own stores for the past few months, whereby anyone armed with an iTunes account (and a valid credit card) can purchase anything from a mouse to a Macbook without having to speak to an associate.
And just last week, Wired Magazine reported that Apple is preparing to launch the next iPhone complete with near field communication (NFC) capability, which would help make mobile payments possible – something that has been exclusively in the domain of Android and Windows device owners. As it turns out, Wired was right on the money. Just yesterday, Apple announced the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ would come with both NFC capability and ApplePay, a revolutionary mobile wallet that will allow consumers to buy goods using only their mobile device.
There Are a Few Apps for That
Although the new iPhone hasn’t shipped just yet (September 19th in most countries, with more dates to come soon), that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the mobile wallet action.
Here’s are a few of our favourite mobile wallets:
Founded by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Order lets you order ahead at local businesses and skip the lines when you pick up your purchase. When your order is ready for pickup, the app sends you a notification. Order is only available in New York City and San Francisco and at a limited number of restaurants, cafes and shops.
It’s no surprise the search giant is jumping into the mobile payment fray with an offering of their own. Google Wallet is a free service that lets you securely store your payment information, transaction history, offers (and a whole lot more) in the cloud, and can be used in-store and online. Google Wallet is available in many countries, including right here in Canada.
No strange to payments, Paypal is taking to mobile payments like a duck to water. The Paypal app not only allows you to send and receive money to friends and family, but also allows you to buy pay for anything you want at your favourite restaurants, stores and more. Best of all, Paypal has recently launched their mobile wallet in Canada and can be used on your next outing. A list of Canadian retailers who accept Paypal in-store wasn’t available at publishing time, but we’ll make sure to update once we’ve heard back.
What’s better than paying for your morning cup of joe than with your mobile device? Not much. Starbucks has been a pioneer in using mobile payments and once worked with Square before dedicating resources to building their mobile offering. The Starbucks app lets you pay for your coffee with a pre-loaded card which can be automatically refilled when your balance hits a certain amount. You can also track rewards (like free coffee or discounts on food), find your local ‘Bux and track your purchases.
Some Final Thoughts
Apple’s entry into the mobile payment space is a logical move for the Cupertino juggernaut. With a massive audience of hardcore Apple fans (like myself) at their disposal, they’ve now included convenience into their core offering. Apple Pay has the potential to shake up the market by taking away precious partnerships from startups like Stripe and Square. Prepare to see a lot more Apple at your next visit to Macy’s, McDonalds or MLB.com.
About the Author: Justin Kozuch
Justin Kozuch is a Toronto-based writer who frequently writes words about technology, startups, and marketing. Click here to visit his blog.