November 8, 2022
In case you’re still living like it’s 1988, you might not realize that all of the big tech firms out there (Apple, Google, Amazon, etc.) want to be your bank. (They also want to be your doctor, your password vault, storage repository for your data – among other things – but that’s a story for another time.) Like those “one to one” marketing firms that failed spectacularly during the dot com bubble around the turn of the last century, the idea is to lock the customer (you) into your tech company of choice.
Although Google and Facebook got cold feet (whether due to regulations, increasing inflation, or whether users don’t want a company whose privacy knows no bounds sticking its nose into their finances), there are plenty of other Silicon Valley companies that want to deal with your fiscal matters. Like Apple, for example. (And the Kardashians tried as well more than a decade ago, but that idea got shot down in about 3.5 minutes…)
But back to Apple. One question that is often asked – what exactly is Apple’s service called? Simply put, there are two, which are intertwined: Apple Pay and Apple Cash.
OK, first things first. Let’s start with Apple Pay. According to its site, Apple Pay is “is a mobile payment service by Apple Inc. that allows users to make payments in person, in iOS apps, and on the web. It is supported on these Apple devices: iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac. It digitizes and can replace a credit or debit card chip and PIN transactions at a contactless-capable point-of-sale terminal.”
Translation – it’s a way to store your credit card in your Apple device (Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch) in order to make payment easier at establishments that accept it. And it’s a contact-less type of thing – you can shop at Whole Foods and not have to touch that germ festooned keypad – unless you use a debit card as your default card and have to key in your PIN. (But you DO keep hand sanitizer in your car, correct?) So that’s Apple Pay – a way of using your Apple device to store your credit card, instead of an old-school wallet that you pull out of your back pocket.
Now, Apple Cash. Again, built into your iPhone, it’s “an easy way to send and receive money” according to Apple website. The balance is stored in a digital card inside your iPhone Wallet, and like I’ve mentioned, you can use this cash in stores, online, and within apps, as it’s connected to Apple Pay. You can send and/or receive money via Messages or Wallet. (Really, it’s Apple’s version of Venmo.) Plus, you can set up your kids with their own Apple Cash cards.
So, there you have it. If you’re comfortable with allowing big tech to get its claws deeper into your finances, then go for it. If not, that’s perfectly understandable too. There’s no shame in not signing up for this. Me, I try to keep my fiscal matters away from big tech, but it’s a necessary evil in my world, as I offer all the big payment types to clients; Venmo, Zelle, Apple Cash, PayPal, Credit Cards and even Bitcoin (if you’re not scared of it’s horrible performance over the past year or so.)