Apple hits & misses: Tap to Cash Vs Apple AI

Its that time of year again when Apple announces to its hoard of beloved fans what’s new with its products and much vaunted iOS at the WWDC 2024 event.

The two clear areas of interest for us in the payments are the enhancement to Apple Pay and Apple’s surprisingly slow uptake on AI.

Tap to Cash

Apple has introduced an innovative feature called Tap to Cash on the newly announced iOS 18 platform. This feature simplifies the process of money transfers by allowing iPhone users to effortlessly send funds to each other with just a simple tap of their phones.

Integrated within the iOS 18 Wallet application, Tap to Cash operates in tandem with Apple Pay, eliminating the need for exchanging bank account numbers.

By simply bringing two iPhones close to each other, users can quickly execute the transfer. This functionality harnesses the power of NFC technology to deliver a swift and convenient payment method directly into the recipient’s Wallet.

The global shift to mobile payment systems has paved the way for enhancements such as Tap to Cash, offering a level of convenience previously unattainable with traditional account number entry or QR code scanning. Users are set to benefit from a reduced transaction time and an overall smoother financial experience.

Currently available on trial versions of iOS 18, people eagerly awaiting the public release will likely have to wait until Q3 2024. With Apple continually pushing the envelope, there is a sense of anticipation for further surprises that may be unveiled in upcoming trial versions.

Apple AI

Whilst many of its Big Tech rivals have funnelled billions into the land grab of AI, Apple appears to have been more cautious in its approach.

The company is also not know for partnerships, preferring to build in-house technology or to purchase best of breed when they feel the timing is right.

On this occasion though, in what is a surprising move Apple announced a partnership with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into its iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Apple announced “Apple Intelligence”, its name for a new suite of AI features. Starting later this year, Apple is rolling out what it says is a more conversational Siri, custom, AI-generated “Genmoji,” and GPT-4o access that lets Siri turn to OpenAI’s chatbot when it can’t handle what you ask it for.

This announcement however was met with some bemusement from the wider industry including worlds richest man Elon Musk.

“If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies,” Elon Musk wrote on X. “That is an unacceptable security violation.” He added that “visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage.”

Musk continued to criticize Apple’s generative AI plans, writing: “It’s patently absurd that Apple isn’t smart enough to make their own AI, yet is somehow capable of ensuring that OpenAI will protect your security & privacy! Apple has no clue what’s actually going on once they hand your data over to OpenAI. They’re selling you down the river.”

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