Dvorak baselessly claims wave-to-pay iPhone users will be ‘screwed’

“There has been a lot of talk about the addition of an NFC (near field communication) chip to the next-gen iPhone. This will allow the phone to be used as a swipe-it-yourself credit card. I consider this technology to be the most onerous ever,” John C. Dvorak writes for PC Magazine.

“This ‘good idea’ isn’t about the convenience of paying with a phone swipe, but the idea of running your tab through the phone company,” Dvorak writes. “If you think your banker is a gouger with dubious fees and no-leeway, what do you think the phone company will be like? Yes, let AT&T handle all your money for you, and see how that works out in the end.”

Dvorak writes, “Do not let AT&T or Verizon or any phone company anywhere near your day-to-day financial transaction business! You’ve been warned.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Speaking of screws, Dvorak’s tinfoil-covered head has more than a couple loose. Unlike Mr. Dvorak, we’ve decided to wait until (1) there actually is an iPhone that allows for NFC payments; and (2) the details of how transactions will be handled are presented, before we issue grim proclamations and dire warnings.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jeff T.” for the heads up.]


  1. I only pay by cash using a tertiary intermediate, neither of which know my true name. The two intermediates a chosen from a group of 12 that changes once a month. It may seem like a complex system and, sure, every once in a while a proxy runs off with my cash (don’t even get me started on how I actually get my cash), but it is worth it knowing that The Man cannot track my purchases of diet coke and chips too closely. I know at least one if the group is probably a fed, but I have them deal with transactions for items that I do not actually want just to screw with the data that The Man collects on me.

  2. @bezoar,

    “So … he thinks the banks are NOT out to screw us out of money?”

    No, and that’s just the point. The point he is making, which has some validity, is that you don’t want to put your financial life in the hands of someone who can control other aspects of your life.

    If you have a credit card and you have bad charges on it, most likely the card company will play nice to keep you as a customer. But sometimes they don’t. Fail to pay your bill and they can hurt your credit rating (maybe) and try to collect on the debt (maybe).

    However, this is different from not making house payments and getting evicted, or not making car payments and having your car repossessed, or in the example he gave, not paying bogus phone charges and having no phone service.

    He’s sensationalizing of course, as MDN rightfully points out, in that we don’t know if Apple will even launch an NFC payment system and if they did, how it would work.

    I would highly suspect that it would work with no direct involvement of the phone carriers whatsoever, and you’d end up with just as much, if not more, protection than you have now.

    A great example of how you could have more protection is that this could be set up where you need to put money on the phone in order to use it. You may have the option of using a credit card, or you could buy credits for use on the phone. Look at the iTunes Store. I don’t have a credit card on file with them, but instead put money on my account by purchasing iTunes Gift Cards. That limits my risk to $50 (or whatever amount I chose to put on my account).

    At no point could you be billed beyond the amount that’s in your account, or available on the credit card you have on file.

    An iPhone NFC payment system that withdrew credit from your account could be an incredibly safe way to do payments.

  3. One word…….. iTunes. I doubt Apple is going to route your payments through the phone company. That’s the crap Google is trying with Android Marketplace app payments.

  4. I envision something more like gift cards or a prepaid credit card. Have an amount on your “account” that is tied to your chip, wave your phone, charge is removed from your balance. You can reload from a website, iTunes, or from your phone. I don’t think AT&T, Verizon, or any other carrier will handle the transaction for us.

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