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

Macs Fan Control 1.3.1.0 - Monitor and c...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
NetShade 6.3.1 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN servers spanning seven countries. NetShade masks your IP address as you... Read more
Dragon Dictate 4.0.7 - Premium voice-rec...
With Dragon Dictate speech recognition software, you can use your voice to create and edit text or interact with your favorite Mac applications. Far more than just speech-to-text, Dragon Dictate lets... Read more
Persecond 1.0.2 - Timelapse video made e...
Persecond is the easy, fun way to create a beautiful timelapse video. Import an image sequence from any camera, trim the length of your video, adjust the speed and playback direction, and you’re done... Read more
GIMP 2.8.14p2 - Powerful, free image edi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more
Sandvox 2.10.2 - Easily build eye-catchi...
Sandvox is for Mac users who want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily. With Sandvox, you don't need to be a Web genius to build a stylish, feature-rich, standards-compliant... Read more
LibreOffice 5.0.1.2 - 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
f.lux 36.1 - Adjusts the color of your d...
f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake... Read more
VirtualBox 5.0.2 - x86 virtualization so...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
File Juicer 4.43 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. In computer... Read more

ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard (Utilit...
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do everything within the keyboard without switching apps! If you are in WhatsApp, how do you schedule a... | Read more »
Tiny Empire (Games)
Tiny Empire 1.1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.3 (iTunes) Description: Launch cannonballs and blow tiny orcs into thousands of pieces in this intuitive fantasy-themed puzzle shooter! Embark on an... | Read more »
Astropad Mini (Productivity)
Astropad Mini 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off introductory price! ​*** Get the high-end experience of a Wacom tablet at a fraction of the price with Astropad... | Read more »
Emo Chorus (Music)
Emo Chorus 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Realistic Choir simulator ranging from simple Chorus emulation to full ensemble Choir with 128 members. ### introductory offer... | Read more »
Forest Spirit (Games)
Forest Spirit 1.0.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.5 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ski Safari 2 (Games)
Ski Safari 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The world's most fantastical, fun, family-friendly skiing game is back and better than ever! Play as Sven's sister Evana, share... | Read more »
Lara Croft GO (Games)
Lara Croft GO 1.0.47768 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.47768 (iTunes) Description: Lara Croft GO is a turn based puzzle-adventure set in a long-forgotten world. Explore the ruins of an ancient... | Read more »
Whispering Willows (Games)
Whispering Willows 1.23 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.23 (iTunes) Description: **LAUNCH SALE 50% OFF** - Whispering Willows is on sale for 50% off ($4.99) until September 9th. | Read more »
Calvino Noir (Games)
Calvino Noir 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: The film noir stealth game. Calvino Noir is the exploratory, sneaking adventure through the 1930s European criminal underworld.... | Read more »
Angel Sword (Games)
Angel Sword 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Prepare to adventure in the most epic full scale multiplayer 3D RPG for mobile! Experience amazing detailed graphics in full HD.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple offering refurbished 2015 13-inch Retin...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $270 (15%) off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple refurbished 2015 MacBook Airs available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 1.4GHz iMac: $999.99 $100 off - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off - 21″ 2.9GHz iMac... Read more
5K iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP, fre...
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. They have the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2149.99 $2199.99, $... 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
iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Big Grips Lift Handle For iPad Air and iPad A...
KEM Ventures, Inc. which pioneered the extra-large, super-protective iPad case market with the introduction of Big Grips Frame and Stand in 2011, is launching Big Grips Lift featuring a new super-... Read more
Samsung Launches Galaxy Tab S2, Its Most Powe...
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. has announced the U.S. release of the Galaxy Tab S2, its thinnest, lightest, ultra-fast tablet. Blending form and function, elegant design and multitasking power,... Read more
Tablet Screen Sizes Expanding as iPad Pro App...
Larger screen sizes are gaining favor as the tablet transforms into a productivity device, with shipments growing 185 percent year-over-year in 2015. According to a new Strategy Analytics’ Tablet... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Music, Business Operations - Apple (...
**Job Summary** This role in Apple Music and in iTunes is working with…the songs that we all enjoy listening to in Apple Music. Your job will be to work wit Read more
Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - *App...
**Job Summary** We are seeking an enthusiastic electrical engineer for the Apple Watch team. This is a design engineering position that entails working with Read more
Engineering Project Manager - *Apple* TV -...
**Job Summary** The iTunes Apps project management team oversees iTunes, Apple TV, DRM and iOS Applications. We are looking for a project manager to help manage and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail Online Store: Customer Insigh...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail (Online Store) is seeking an experienced e-commerce analytics professional to join the Customer Insights Team. The Web e-Commerce Analyst Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.