Many security experts agree that Apple Pay and contactless payment systems like it are an improvement over traditional credit-card based systems. However, Apple Pay is still new and relatively untested, and it’s wise to approach it strategically.
[Related: Security, Payments Experts Talk Apple Pay]
Peter Olynick, card and payments practice lead with Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a management-technology consulting firm, says the following four best practices are a great way to get started with Apple Pay.
Add Cards Sparingly
First, don’t simply add all of your payment cards. “You should start off using one [credit card] … If there is an issue, you’ve mitigated the problem down to one card.”
Apple Pay aside, Olynick recommends having one credit card for your online transactions and another for “physical” in-store purchases. Most of your Apple Pay purchases will be made in stores, so you shouldn’t use your online card for Apple Pay, Olynick says.
Stick to Credit Cards, Avoid Debit Cards
You should also stick to credit cards, and not debit cards, when using Apple Pay, according to Olynick. Credit card companies typically offer much better fraud protection than banks that issue debit cards. If your account is compromised it’s the credit card company’s funds that are in limbo, and not yours, he says.
Avoid Items You Might Want to Return
It’s a good idea to make to sure that the first few purchases you make using Apple Pay won’t need to be returned. Sales clerks who are new to Apple Pay may not be familiar with the payment process, let alone the returns process, Olynick says. “Returns are always difficult, and you don’t want to use a brand new device if you might need to request a return.”
Closely Monitor Account Statements and Apple Pay Charges
Finally, watch your account statement very closely during the first few months following the Apple Pay launch, according to Olynick. Again, the system is new, and some growing pains can be expected. (Some Bank of America customers have already reported double charges on their statements.)
“The security element is great, biometric is fantastic, but I want to be careful about leveraging any new technology,” Olynick says. “Apple Pay is getting a lot of press, and the bad guys are out there working really hard trying to figure out how they can get into this.”
You can learn more about Apple Pay on the company’s iPhone 6 website.