Enlightened Self Disinterest

I read Gruber’s piece today on how retailers are blocking Apple Pay in the hopes of launching their own mobile wallet. The motive appears to be to capture more customer data and reduce credit card transaction fees. Which made me want to share something I noticed using Apple Pay.

I used Apple Pay for the first time at the Apple Store last night. There was a little nervousness from me and my salesperson, but the transaction worked seamlessly. Until it came time for the receipt. He asked me if I wanted an email receipt and I said yes. Then he asked for my e-mail.

If you’re a regular Apple Store customer, you’ve probably come across the scary and convenient feature where they know your email once you swipe your credit card. Since your card number is linked to your iTunes account, they usually have an email and ask you to confirm it. With Apple Pay, the system randomly generates a short term credit card number for each transaction. So I need to tell them my email address now. Apple has built a system that restricts their own retail stores from tracking customers.

Having to dictate your email address is annoying. It’s also a very powerful example of why Apple Pay is a positive change to payment systems. You can now shop anonymously if you wish and more importantly, your actual credit card number is not stored in a vulnerable system. I look forward to trying it out at more retailers going forward.

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