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

LibreOffice 5.3.4.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
VOX 2.8.26 - Music player that supports...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
iFFmpeg 6.4.0 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a comprehensive media tool to convert movie, audio and media files between formats. The FFmpeg command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does all the hard... Read more
Beamer 3.3 - Stream any movie file from...
Beamer streams to your Apple TV.... Plays any movie file - Just like the popular desktop movie players, Beamer accepts all common formats, codecs and resolutions. AVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, WMV, FLV. To... Read more
jAlbum Pro 14.0 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more
Apple Remote Desktop Client 3.9.3 - Clie...
Apple Remote Desktop Client is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports... Read more
Chromium 59.0.3071.109 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 59.0.3071.109: This update has no Flash plug-... Read more
Thunderbird 52.2.0 - Email client from M...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
Google Chrome 59.0.3071.109 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
Shredo 1.2.2 - $9.99
Shredo is a beautiful, functional file-shredding and privacy scan utility. It permanently shreds files, folders, and external volumes' contents to keep information secure and impossible for anyone to... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The House of da Vinci (Games)
The House of da Vinci 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enter The House of Da Vinci, a new must-try 3D puzzle adventure game. Solve mechanical puzzles, discover hidden... | Read more »
Solve the disappearance of history’s gre...
Blue Brain Games invites you to indulge in an immersive hands-on 3D puzzle adventure in similar vein to The Room series, with its debut release The House of Da Vinci. Set during the historic period of the Italian Renaissance (when Leonardo himself... | Read more »
Age of Rivals (Games)
Age of Rivals 3.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 3.3 (iTunes) Description: Deep civilization-building strategy in a fast-paced card game! | Read more »
Panthera Frontier (Games)
Panthera Frontier 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Angry Birds Evolution beginner's gu...
Angry Birds changes things up a fair bit in its latest iteration, Angry Birds Evolution. The familiar sling-shot physics mechanics are still there, but the game now features team-based gameplay, RPG elements, and a new top-down view. With all of... | Read more »
Sega Forever is for the retro game fans
Sega is launching a new retro games service titled Sega Forever, in a move that's sure to delight games enthusiasts with a bit of nostalgia. Sega's releasing five classic games for free. The titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II,... | Read more »
The Little Acre (Games)
The Little Acre 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Lovely adventure game 'The Little A...
The Little Acre makes its way from PC to iOS today and it's a real charmer. It's a lovely little adventure game set in 1950's Ireland, gorgeously animated in a style slightly reminiscent of old Disney films. The game won a lot of praise for its... | Read more »
Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow officially...
Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow arrives next Thursday, and it features . . . Stephen Hawking? Turns out a few of your favorite science super stars, including Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and George Takei will be making an appearance alongside the... | Read more »
MU Origin’s new update offers exciting c...
MU Origin is kicking off the summer with style. Its latest update is a real doozy, offering up plenty of fresh content. New challenges, some extra help for newcomers, and new costumes are just a few of the things you will find in the new patch. | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Clearance 2016 MacBook Pros available for up...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $400 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple Ranks 9th In comScore Top 50 U.S. Digit...
comScore, Inc. has released its monthly ranking of U.S. online activity at the top digital media properties for May 2017 based on data from comScore Media Metrix Multi-Platform. * Entity has... Read more
10.5-inch iPad Pros available for up to $20 o...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 10.5″ iPad Pros available for up to $20 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 64GB iPad Pro WiFi: $649 - 256GB iPad Pro WiFi: $749 - 512GB... Read more
Three Off-The-Beaten-Track iOS Apps That Dese...
One of the great things about using iPads and iPhones is the vast selection of apps available for most anything you want or need to do. The three outlined in this article have been in my core app... Read more
Apple No. 1 Spot In Gartner Top 100 Vendors i...
Gartner, Inc. has unveiled the top global 100 vendors in IT in 2016 based on their revenue across IT (excluding communication services) and component market segments. In the Gartner Global Top 100:... Read more
Clearance iMacs available for up to $300 off...
B&H Photo has clearance 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs available starting at $949, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $1999 $300 off original MSRP - 27″... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini, refurbished, available for $...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 1.4GHz Mac minis available for $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Their price is $80 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest... Read more
Free Mixoo iOS Photo Editing App Gets Major U...
Button Software Technology has announced Mixoo 3.0, an important feature update to the company’s photo editor for iOS devices. Mixoo offers amazing ways to edit as well as decorate personal photo... Read more
FNable 2.0 Function Key Enabling Software Get...
Briksoftware has released FNable 2.0 With Touch Bar Support, a major new version of the function key enabling software now compatible with Touch Bar keyboards. FNable’s simplicity that allows users... Read more
Clearance 2016 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple...
Apple recently dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks, with models now available starting at $1019. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject matter Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple I...
…integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:Quantitative* Year over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant till v%u00E5r...
…ethics, integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:QuantitativeYear over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point Read more
Sr. Software Engineer, *Apple* Retail - App...
Apple Retail is looking for a Software Engineer…You'll work on projects that touch all aspects of Apple Retail Point-of-Sale system, and will leverage your strong Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.