Apple Pay Not Immune To Credit Card Fraud


One of the reasons that helps some people gravitate toward Apple’s mobile ecosystem is that it feels safer than the more wide open world of Android. And in many respects, that’s more than perception, it’s actually true. You give up some freedom for more security.

Yet simply using Apple’s devices and services isn’t a magic bullet against every kind of threat that one faces when interacting in our increasingly connected world. Take Apple Pay, Apple’s new-ish mobile payments service, for example. The Wall Street Journal reported today that some users of Apple Pay have been victims of credit card fraud, despite Apple’s best efforts to make the system as secure as possible.

That’s because the problems aren’t on Apple’s end. The trouble has arisen during the process of adding new credit cards to use with Apple Pay, during which time Apple transmits some information to the issuing bank for approval purposes. Banks can ask for more information from the user if they believe there’s an issue, but the WSJ’s research suggests that some of them are sacrificing safety for speed when it comes to getting cards approved for Apple Pay. That, in turn, makes it easier for scammers to defraud users by simply knowing a very minor amount of personal information, like the last four digits of someone’s social security number.

Apple has invested plenty of time and energy into Apple Pay, so one expects that it will exert whatever influence it needs to use to ensure card issuers protect users’ info and money a little more zealously. Until then, the best defense against fraud, as always, is personal vigilance, as well as remembering that a walled garden isn’t the same thing as an invincible shield.

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