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8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Apple Pay

With Apple Pay, you don’t need to carry around your payment cards or cash. Everything is handily contained in one app, ready for you to tap and make payments when on the go. Millions of people around the world already use it—should you?

Whether you’re a consumer or a merchant, we think that you should ponder that question carefully. Though Apple Pay has undeniable benefits, there are also plenty of drawbacks. So, here’s why you shouldn’t use Apple Pay.

Apple Pay’s Disadvantages as a Consumer

As a consumer, you might face the following security threats if you rely solely on Apple Pay.

1. Vulnerability to Cyberattacks

cybercriminal hacking phones from a laptop

Generally, Apple Pay is a safe, secure system resistant to cyberattacks, making it an excellent mobile payment option. However, jailbreaking your iPhone overrides the software restrictions that also serve as security.

If you have a jailbroken iPhone, think twice before using Apple Pay. Hackers might override your transaction restrictions and duplicate your previous contactless payments.

Besides that, it’s good to remember that anything digital is always vulnerable to being hacked, so it’s normal to ask yourself a question like “Is Apple Pay safe?”. And this applies not just to Apple Pay but to other payment solutions as well. ​

2. Public Wi-Fi Connections Compromise Security

Apple Pay uses near-field communication (NFC) chips to execute contactless payment transactions, so you don’t need internet connectivity. This is fantastic, as you can use it without restriction.

However, iPhones automatically search for available Wi-Fi connections by default. Public networks are often targeted by hackers and criminals waiting to override insecure financial transactions—such as unauthorized contactless payments.

You might accidentally use your device for Apple Pay without noticing it’s already connected to a public network. After all, contactless transactions happen pretty quickly. Not many people bother checking their phone’s signal and connectivity status before paying. However, considering the dangers of using public Wi-Fi, we advise that you avoid them at all costs, especially when transacting.

Fortunately, you can quickly resolve this issue by turning the Ask to Join feature off. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi > Ask to Join Networks, then select Off. Once you enable this setting, you won’t be prompted to join unknown public Wi-Fi networks.

3. Potential to Bypass Contactless Limits Without Authorization

Research from the University of Birmingham exposes Apple Pay’s susceptibility to payment fraud on Visa cards when the iPhone’s Express Transit mode is enabled.

Essentially, hackers can potentially bypass the contactless limits on small payments. For instance, let’s say you used Apple Pay to purchase a train ticket. Since it requires minimal authentication, hackers can override the transaction and replicate it multiple times without your knowledge.

Fortunately, these issues are relatively isolated. You won’t fall victim to this scheme if you review your transactions and payments regularly.

4. Apple Collects Significant Personal Data

Apple Pay requires you to disclose various personal information. Apart from the standard data like your name and address, the company will also access your transaction history—which could amount to a lot if you use it frequently.

Although Apple does not sell user data, it utilizes your personal information for marketing purposes—for example, targeted ads, suggested posts, etc. You might want to reconsider using Apple Pay altogether if you doubt Apple’s privacy terms.

5. Apple Pay Only Works on Apple Devices

Tap to iPhone
Image Credit: Apple

Although it seems pretty obvious, this point is worth noting. If you want to use Apple Pay, you must use an Apple device, either an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch. That means you won’t be able to use the service if you decide to switch to an Android device.

The day you move is when you lose access to your Apple Pay wallet. Apple’s nemesis, Google, does it better since you can use Google Pay to make payments on Android and iOS. However, this is all due to how Apple Pay works (it’s integrated into Apple’s software). So, before you start using Apple Pay, ensure you’re ready to embrace Apple’s ecosystem for the long haul.

Apple Pay’s Disadvantages as a Merchant

Think twice before relying solely on contactless payments provided by Apple Pay if you own a shop or merchant account. Otherwise, you’ll put your payment system at risk of the following:

6. Confusion and Irritability Among New Users

According to a survey by eMarketer in 2021, Apple Pay was the most dominant mobile payment solution in the US, with 43.9 million users.

Despite that, you can’t expect all your customers to use a digital wallet like Apple Pay. You need to be prepared to offer alternative payment methods.

You might also face some issues if you chance upon customers using Apple Pay for the first time. You’ll likely spend more time checking out customers if they need help with their payments—defeating the purpose of Apple Pay: fast, seamless transactions.

7. Failed Transactions Due to Card Clash

making multiple mobile payments

Fast-moving, contactless payment devices face a high risk of “card clashes.” This issue arises when two or more payment solutions interfere with each other’s transactions—often with newly released contactless technologies.

While this isn’t a flaw unique to Apple Pay, it is especially susceptible if, for example, a customer stores their contactless card with their phone. This can cause payments to be duplicated, taken from the wrong source, or not processed—all of which will provide annoying admin overhead for your business.

8. Implementation Cost

While Apple doesn’t charge you as a merchant any fees to accept Apple Pay (it only makes money from transaction fees), you should also consider the cost of implementation. Apple won’t do it for you. There are two potential costs associated with implementation.

First, you’ll need to get an NFC payment terminal by renting or purchasing outright. Nonetheless, it won’t be an issue if your current payment hardware supports contactless payments.

You can bypass this cost by using your current iPhone to accept customer payments with apps like Square Point of Sale (POS) with no extra hardware needed using Apple Pay’s Tap to Pay feature. Second, you’ll need to train your staff to use the system. These two costs may not be an issue for some, but it’s worth mentioning.

Is Apple Pay Worth It?

Although contactless payments make checkouts significantly quicker, they also have their fair share of disadvantages. So, don’t overlook them for the sake of convenience.

That said, you might find that the benefits of Apple Pay outweigh the risks—and Apple is sure to improve Apple Pay’s features and security over time.

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