Tipping Anyone with Apple Pay


People are really excited about being able to use Apple Pay to pay for gas.

I get that. It is exciting. But I think there’s something potentially more useful.


I don’t like cash, and I try not to carry it. But I also don’t like not having cash to give valets, bag carriers at hotels, and, well…lots of places.

I’d like to be able to give money to anyone, at any time, as quickly as possible.

I use Square Cash to do this with people who already have an account. It’s brilliant.

But that doesn’t work for someone right in front of you, who you don’t know. And even the Square Cash interaction would be too much for that.

No, what I want is a device that people can carry (ideally their mobile phone) that makes the following interaction possible:

  1. They show me their phone

  2. I put mine near theirs

  3. I’m prompted to enter an amount

  4. I enter it, and hold my thumb on the AppleID sensor


Now, being in information security, I see a number of problems with this:

  • Malicious endpoints (me coming near their NFC system compromises me in some way)

  • Unconscious transactions (they knock you out, put your phone up to theirs, and authorize $1000 using a your thumb)

There are ways to deal with these, such as rate/amount limiting these typees of transactions, requiring a PIN in addition to thumbprint, etc., but it’s something that’ll have to be considered.

But I think we’ll end up there somehow (especially if someone’s getting a cut).

All I want is to be able to quickly give people money who are standing in front of me. Cabs. Valets. Waiters. The homeless. Anyone.

I hope this happens soon as part of Apple Pay’s momentum.

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