What Will Become of Wallets?

This week, Morning Edition did a great story highlighting the all new Apple Pay wallet. The story posed a simple question: Will my leather wallet still be in my back pocket or my purse in a year?

The short answer is “probably,” according to technology correspondent Aarti Shahani. In her own words, “the move could be a major change in how we shop, or it could end up as a blip on the map that fades away.”

Shahani’s coverage examined two key elements of Apple’s new payment system — convenience and security. Here’s how she broke these qualities down:

Convenience. In theory, the draw of Apple Pay is to centralize and eliminate your physical credit cards. However, credit cards are already compact, sleek and not terribly inconvenient. Apple Pay is also only available on the new iPhone 6. To the company’s credit, though, Apple does have brand recognition, deep pockets and signed deals in place with all major credit card companies.

Security. Apple Pay uses Touch ID to verify payments from an iPhone. This security technology is paired with a new chip inside the iPhone 6 that generates what Apple calls a “digital token” during a transaction. According to Shahani, this digital token is being hailed as the next big step in consumer security.

On Monday morning, 220,000 retail locations began accepting Apple Pay. Big name chains include McDonald’s, Macy’s, Chevron, Walgreens and Panera Bread. Apple promises an even longer list of participating retailers as soon as the ink dries on new agreements. However, only time will tell whether Apple Pay will be accepted both by stores, and the general public.

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