Greg's bite: Apple's Bump to Pay?
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: Apple's Bump to Pay?

By Greg Mills

We know Apple and other companies have been working on ePay systems using smart phones and some sort of electronic "radio bridge" to make it possible to pay for small things or even a tank of gas, by using your cell phone to pay.  

RFID chips already make short range radio information reading devices possible for electronic checkout of a whole cart of goods, for example, simply by walking past an electronic check out point. Each item in the cart has an RFID chip on it that transmits an identification code containing a lot of information when it is hit by strong radio waves of a certain frequency.  Bluetooth is another way to do the trick. Sounds cool, but the whole thing has sort of a "big brother," heavy handed feel to it. Can this be the Mark of the Beast or the next big bunko target, stealing you blind while you walk the streets unaware you have been just been financially mugged?

Bank of America and Visa are soon offering a new debit card account in the New York area that uses an RFID chip that is mounted on your cell phone adhesively or hidden in the protective case.  Some designs are actually using memory card formats. The experiment is obviously testing the market for rolling the concept out more widely. I am no longer a fan of B. of A. fan due to a loan shark story best reserved for another time, but this sort of innovation promises to make small purchases without cash easy. 

There was a lot of flack about adding RFID chips to US passports, since it would be possible to mingle in a crowd of people at an airport and read passport information just by getting near people, if you had the right hardware device in your pocket.  It is possible to partly shield the chips with a metal foil radio field dampening cover added to the passport jacket.   Last I heard, that idea still was on the back burner due to the uproar from privacy advocates.  Funny how privacy is not an issue, until it is your own information at risk.

All sorts of problems could arise in a store upon electronic automatic check out of an entire cart, that would cause some items to not be charged for at all or duplicate charges being racked up or the wrong price being charged for an item. My wife is much better than I am at double checking the register receipt when she shops. Even with the existing bar code system, where things are scanned individually at the check out area, mistakes happen all the time, where something gets charged twice or not at all or are charged at a different price by the computer, than displayed on the shelf. I have always maintained that if an item is not marked at the shelf, it should be free.   Great idea for a new consumer protection law ....

Every system of eCommerce ever devised has been hacked. Cash and credit cards can be stolen or lost. Price sticker can be peeled off and replaced with a cheaper sticker, so stores perforate the stickers so they tear off in bits if you try to remove them. Bar code stickers can be changed, so they make them stick so well the item is forever marred with bar code glue or they just print the darn bar code on the item. ATM and credit card information gets skimmed by thieves. Checks get lost or stolen. We read about credit card numbers being stolen by the million through internet hacking. Virtually every bank and credit card company out there offers free insurance to protect account holders, yet fear keeps a lot of people from using the web to buy things.

People are understandably worried and each new system of commerce has its unique weaknesses and strengths. My pastor and I tried to convince the deacon board at the church to add a PayPal sort of "donation on line" element to the church web site. Some of the deacons are dead set against it, mainly due to security issues and a distrust of new methods of commerce. Some of them related stories of embezzlement and personal loss due to e-commerce.  We have all read about Nigerian Bank Fraud losses, money directly stolen from bank accounts. Actual experiences which are real, but rare, along with urban legends tend to create fear for anything that can drain your bank account without direct control. Personally, I don't do automatic payments more out of concern that I will forget to deduct the payment than fear of electronic fraud.

The Apple "1 Click shopping" feature on my Apple Store/iTunes account makes me worry my daughter, armed with her iPod touch or my iPad, might accidentally buy something I haven't agreed to. Apple already has my account number and permission on file from me to use it. So far so good, but a lot of apps allow purchases from on-line accounts anymore.  

Passwords now need to be as long as the road between Fort Worth and Dallas just to be safe from hackers. Then comes Apple with a new Bump to Pay concept. Maybe I am just too old and tired to embrace the idea, rather than worried from a technological point of view. I down loaded a "Bump to Share Contacts" app the other day after another iPhone user I met tried to Bump me and my iPhone went, duh ... what is bump?  I hooked up to WiFi and downloaded the free app and 2 minutes later, our iPhones were close friends. The two phones used bluetooth to trade contact info automatically. I guess you have to be careful who you "bump" into anymore.

The problem with credit cards is really, that to buy a $1 bottle of pop with a credit card is silly.  Even buying a meal at McDonald's, which I have done when I am out of cash, is sort of misusing a debit card it seems to me. A Bump to Pay system where vending machines charge a small cash account connected to your iPhone to pay for small stuff really makes some sense. Let's say you put $20 into your Bump Account.  

When you add location services (which needs be the subject of an entire article on privacy) to a Bump to Pay system for small purchases, it begins be more interesting. Take vending machines, subway rides, movies or the like, where the amount paid is small, advertising could pop up due to location services since it knows were you are. The cheap pizza deal, just around the corner, where you Bump to Pay for one slice of cheese pizza and a drink for only $2, as a special iPhone bargain might be cool. (Obviously, I am dreaming that a piece of pizza and a soft drink in New York could be had for $2)  

In a more ominous note, there are rumors AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are conspiring to set up their own pay by phone "Bump" type program that will cut Visa and the likes of B. of A. out of the loop. I wouldn't put it past Apple to develop their own account system as well. Now, in addition to everything else we have to fear, can electronic pick pockets bumping their way into our bank accounts be far behind?  

In a more ominous note, there are rumors AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are conspiring to set up their own pay by phone "Bump" type program that will cut Visa and the likes of B. of A. out of the loop. I wouldn't put it past Apple to develop their own account system as well. Now, in addition to everything else we have to fear, can electronic pick pockets bumping their way into our bank accounts be far behind?  

(Greg Mills is currently a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Married, with one daughter still at home, Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's web sites at http://www.gregmills.info . He can be emailed at gregmills@mac.com )

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

WALTR 2 2.0.9 - $39.95
WALTR 2 helps you wirelessly drag-and-drop any music, ringtones, videos, PDF, and ePub files onto your iPhone, iPad, or iPod without iTunes. It is the second major version of Softorino's critically-... Read more
Paperless 2.3.9 - $49.95
Paperless is a digital documents manager. Remember when everyone talked about how we would soon be a paperless society? Now it seems like we use paper more than ever. Let's face it - we need and we... Read more
Adobe After Effects CC 2017 14.1 - Creat...
After Effects CC 2017 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous After Effects customer). The new, more connected After Effects CC... Read more
Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017 11.0.2 - Digi...
Premiere Pro CC 2017 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Premiere Pro customer). Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017 lets you edit... Read more
ExpanDrive 5.4.4 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.3.1 - Professio...
Apple Final Cut Pro X is a professional video editing solution.Completely redesigned from the ground up, Final Cut Pro adds extraordinary speed, quality, and flexibility to every part of the post-... Read more
Apple GarageBand 10.1.5 - Complete recor...
The new GarageBand is a whole music creation studio right inside your Mac -- complete with keyboard, synths, orchestral and percussion instruments, presets for guitar and voice, an entirely... Read more
Yummy FTP Pro 1.11.14 - $29.99
Yummy FTP Pro is an advanced Mac file transfer app which provides a full-featured professional toolkit combined with blazing speeds and impeccable reliability, so whether you want to transfer a few... Read more
Apple Compressor 4.3.1 - Adds power and...
Compressor adds power and flexibility to Final Cut Pro X export. Customize output settings, work faster with distributed encoding, and tap into a comprehensive set of delivery features. Features... Read more
Apple Motion 5.3.1 - Create and customiz...
Apple Motion is designed for video editors, Motion 5 lets you customize Final Cut Pro titles, transitions, and effects. Or create your own dazzling animations in 2D or 3D space, with real-time... Read more

Super Mario Run dashes onto Android in M...
Super Mario Run was one of the biggest mobile launches in 2016 before it was met with a lukewarm response by many. While the game itself plays a treat, it's pretty hard to swallow the steep price for the full game. With that said, Android users... | Read more »
WarFriends Beginner's Guide: How to...
Chillingo's new game, WarFriends, is finally available world wide, and so far it's a refreshing change from common mobile game trends. The game's a mix of tower defense, third person shooter, and collectible card game. There's a lot to unpack here... | Read more »
Super Gridland (Entertainment)
Super Gridland 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Match. Build. Survive. "exquisitely tuned" - Rock Paper Shotgun No in-app purches, and no ads! | Read more »
Red's Kingdom (Games)
Red's Kingdom 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Mad King Mac has kidnapped your father and stolen your golden nut! Solve puzzles and battle goons as you explore and battle your... | Read more »
Turbo League Guide: How to tame the cont...
| Read more »
Fire Emblem: Heroes coming to Google Pla...
Nintendo gave us our first look at Fire Emblem: Heroes, the upcoming mobile Fire Emblem game the company hinted at last year. Revealed at the Fire Emblem Direct event held today, the game will condense the series' tactical RPG combat into bite-... | Read more »
ReSlice (Music)
ReSlice 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Audio Slice Machine Slice your audio samples with ReSlice and create flexible musical atoms which can be triggered by MIDI notes or... | Read more »
Stickman Surfer rides in with the tide t...
Stickson is back and this time he's taken up yet another extreme sport - surfing. Stickman Surfer is out this Thursday on both iOS and Android, so if you've been following the other Stickman adventures, you might be interested in picking this one... | Read more »
Z-Exemplar (Games)
Z-Exemplar 1.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.4 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
5 dastardly difficult roguelikes like th...
Edmund McMillen's popular roguelike creation The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has finally crawled onto mobile devices. It's a grotesque dual-stick shooter that tosses you into an endless, procedurally generated basement as you, the pitiable Isaac,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple Ranked ‘Most Intimate Brand’
The top ranked ‘”intimate” brands continued to outperform the S&P and Fortune 500 indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2017 Report, the largest... Read more
B-Eng introduces SSD Health Check for Mac OS
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based independant Swiss company- B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of SSD Health Check 1.0, the company’s new hard drive utility for Mac OS X. As the... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: -... Read more
4-core 3.7GHz Mac Pro on sale for $2290, save...
Guitar Center has the 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro (MD253LL/A) on sale for $2289.97 including free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Their price is a $710 savings over standard MSRP for... Read more
128GB Apple iPad Air 2, refurbished, availabl...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 128GB iPad Air 2s WiFis available for $419 including free shipping. That’s an $80 savings over standard MSRP for this model. A standard Apple one-year warranty is... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina Apple MacBook Pro on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A): $... Read more
Laptop Market – Flight To Quality? – The ‘Boo...
Preliminary quarterly PC shipments data released by Gartner Inc. last week reveal an interesting disparity between sales performance of major name PC vendors as opposed to that of less well-known... Read more
IBM and Bell Transform Canadian Enterprise Mo...
IBM and Bell Canada have announced they are joining forces to offer IBM MobileFirst for iOS market-ready enterprise applications for iPad, iPhone or Apple Watch. Bell, Canada’s largest communications... Read more
Otter Products is Closing… For a Day of Givin...
On Thursday, Feb. 9, Otter Products is closing doors to open hearts. In partnership with the OtterCares Foundation, the company is pausing operations for a day so all employees can volunteer with... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon has 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) available for $1799.99 including free shipping. Apple charges $1999 for this model, so Amazon’s price is represents a $200 savings. Read more

Jobs Board

Senior Workstation Administrator - *Apple*...
…with extraordinary HR. QualificationsJOB SUMMARY/OVERVIEWThe Senior Workstation Administrator - Apple supports the mission of TriNet by providing advanced level Read more
Intermediate *Apple* macOS Systems Integrat...
**Position Summary:** SC3 is actively seeking an Intermediate Apple macOS systems integration administrator that will be responsible for providing Apple Mac Read more
*Apple* & PC Desktop Support Technician...
Apple & PC Desktop Support Technician job in Los Angeles, CA Introduction: We have immediate job openings for several Desktop Support Technicians with one of our Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (Multi-L...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.