31 Oct 2014 Apple Pay and Your, uh…wallet
Apple is a company. It makes technological things of high quality for people to use. No matter where you come down on Apple, I think we can all agree on those two sentences.
Apple has made a new technological thing, called Apple Pay, which may or may not revolutionize the way middle and upper class world citizens pay for goods and services. The verdict is still out on whether or not the revolution will actually occur (other tech companies have tried already), but there seems at the very least to be some built up steam behind Apple Pay.
So what does Apple Pay mean for you? Well, as academics like Dan Ariely have pointed out, there is a sort of “pain of payment” involved in the minds of most consumers when they use cash to pay for things.
When the credit card came around it lessened that pain of payment for many people, making it psychologically easier for them to purchase things (especially on a whim). Though we don’t know for sure, an educated guess would be that Apple Pay (or something like it) takes us even further from the pain of payment, because it eliminates the need for a separate physical component in the payment process altogether. No cash to pull out; no plastic to swipe. Just the phone–that you already use for practically everything else–then point and shoot and you’re on your way, a little lighter in your bank account.
The moral of this story is simply to be aware. Apple Pay isn’t evil, just like paying with plastic is not evil. But know yourself. The reality is that paying is paying, and whether you pay with a dollar bill or through the NFC chip in your new iPhone, it will have the same impact on your financial goals. If the latter payment makes it easier for you to throw a wrench in your budget, look for some accountability. Who knows, there may even be an app for that.