Are Mobile Payment Systems the New Tech Battleground?

Mobile payments could be the new battleground in the IT industry.

All the hype around the new iPhone 6 is likely of much interest to students pursuing careers in information technology. However, one feature that much of the public has probably not considered is the implementation of Apple Pay, which complements the newest iOS. What may seem nothing more than a new payment system from Apple has made quite the impact on the industry of IT overall, especially considering how potentially lucrative the new feature could be for the company from Cupertino.

Vying for the mobile payments market are other tech firms Jumio and PayPal, and how exactly Apple Pay will effect the market is yet to be seen. With millions of iPhone users, Apple already has an enormous potential user base for the new system. However, near field communication technology is already embedded in the Android OS, and is yet to become a cultural norm. What is clear is that major tech companies are trying to make the most of this new market, and it could become the new battleground in the IT industry.

What is Apple Pay? 
Apple Pay is an NFC technology that uses the iPhone's fingerprint system of identification. The use of the fingerprint button makes providing a username and password superfluous, thus making a more efficient and user-friendly payment experience. Apple teamed up with Visa, MasterCard and American Express to implement Apple Pay. PC World points out that perhaps the most unique and savvy feature of Apple Pay relies on its payment tokens, which add an extra level of security. Rather than exchange credit card information, Apple Pay uses a payment token that serves the same purpose, so that if a payment terminal were hacked, a user's information would not be compromised. 

Google Wallet has a similar system, although according to PC World, Google's system provides less privacy for users in that the company has the ability to see the place and purchase of all transactions. It seems moving forward, tech firms will be tasked with developing payment systems that work ubiquitously across all platforms and also limit the need for a physical credit card. Apple, along with Google, PayPal and several others, are looking to become the standard for this practice. 

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_IT

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