Is this a good thing is the question to be answered, but later on in this I will discuss that. I have written about Apple Pay and Near Field Communication (NFC) before, but now it seems to be really will be usable in Canada, with Interac announcing an agreement with Apple pay on using this technology.
Before you leave this page to go set this up remember there are a few limiting factors here:
- You need an iPhone 6 series (or above) or a later iPad series (although who would wander around with an iPad to buy things). The Apple Watch has Apple pay also, but it ends up being “attached” to an iPhone as well.
- You need a bank account that you can access via Interac (figured I’d point that one out, just in case you were not sure).
- For the Interac part of Apple pay, you need to have an account with RBC or CIBC. CLANG!!! I knew there was going to be a catch.
- Remember that the TD Banking app evidently allows NFC on Android Based phones .
- Apple Pay also works with Amex cards, ATB Mastercards and Canadian Tire Mastercards
OK, so the title is a little bit misleading, as only a few banks are covered here.
The real question, is NFC (Near Field Communication) a good thing? Depends on who you ask. If you read the link I supplied you will know:
NFC is a set of short-range wireless technologies, typically requiring a separation of 10 cm or less
Sounds perfectly safe, doesn’t it? PC World has a very good article about a few steps to take if you are going to use this technology (the reading the fine print and your agreement on use of the technology). The other thing to remember is if you are going to use this technology, your phone had better be secured (i.e. password locked, at least).
It will be interesting to see how well this whole thing works, now that it is more in general usage (in Canada).
I think that NFC payments via phone is definitely a step in the right direction. Talks at defcon have shown how antenna arrays can be used to pick up payment authorizations from tap and go cards from great distances. Moving the tap and go functionality from an always on card to a phone transmitter where it’s only on when you authorize it is safer, despite the additional danger from a virus infecting your phone.
I think time will tell on this one, but a smarter device should be more secure, shouldn’t it?