Credit Cards vs. Mobile Payments: Which Is Best?

Credit Cards vs. Mobile Payments: Which Is Best?

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Back on October 24, 2014, not long after Apple showcased its two new iPhones, the “6” and “6 Plus,” I took a fairly detailed look at “Apple Pay,” the mobile payments system that owners of those new phones (but not those with older models) could use with merchants’ “point-of-sale” terminals instead of swiping a traditional credit card.

(Mike Mozart Flickr Photo)
(Mike Mozart Flickr Photo)

One of my hiking buddies bought an iPhone 6 and has raved about the convenience of Apple Pay.

I’m still using an iPhone 5 (although a “6” may be in my pocket before long), so I haven’t had a chance to try out Apple Pay myself. (I do have the ability using Apple’s Passport app to pay for my coffee drinks at Starbucks stores by waving my iPhone at a scanner.)

But will Apple Pay be of any real value to U.S. consumers once they all are given “Chip and PIN” credit cards?

Is Apple Pay really more convenient to use and a more secure payment system than a credit card?

How many merchants will ultimately have Apple Pay compatible point-of-sale terminals?

Won’t I still need to carry my credit cards in my wallet just in case the merchant’s terminal doesn’t work, the merchant doesn’t have such a terminal, or my iPhone’s battery goes dead or my phone gets mislaid, left at home, or stolen?

Listen to reporters Robin Sidel, of The Wall Street Journal, and Nanette Byrnes, of MIT Technology Review, talk with host Ira Flatow of PRI’s Science Friday about these and other questions about credit cards vs. mobile payments.

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