Monthly Archives: October 2014

A new era at the cash register

Reporter Mike Isaac of The New York Times recently took on the task of attempting to explain the attempts to put credit cards on cellphones and why this time is different.

In the news business, the least newsworthy items are those that happened in the past. More newsworthy is saying New Era at the Cash Register-nyt100114what is happening now. But, the most compelling news is to tell your readers what is going to occur (the weather, when the Super Bowl is going to be and who is likely to win, etc.).  Thus, the NYT headline, “Apple Pay Signals New Era at Cash Register” is attention grabbing.

But, it’s just not Apple’s new iPhone announced this month that’s foreshadowing the future, the article notes:

If doubts remained about the far-reaching implications of Apple’s entry into the market, they were almost surely cast aside on Tuesday. In a surprise announcement, the e-commerce giant eBay said it would spin off PayPal, long the dominant digital payment service — a move meant to make PayPal more nimble in a fast-changing market.

“The era of digital payments is upon us,” said John Donahoe, chief executive of eBay. 

The case for credit cards on cellphones is strong:

“Apple Pay is good for everyone in the payments ecosystem because ultimately, it increases the amount of transactions that are happening on mobile,” Mr. Collison said.

With Apple Pay, which is expected to be available within a month, people can pay online or in person with their phone, using an iPhone’s fingerprint sensor to check out, an experience that Apple says will be faster and safer than offerings from its predecessors. Many major restaurant and retail chains, including McDonald’s, Whole Foods and Macy’s, have signed up to accept payments this way.

The article notes that smartphone credit cards are more secure than swiping a traditional credit card. When a purchase is made the phone wirelessly transmits a one-time code along with encrypted customer data.

Read the entire article from The New York Times here.