What? Your bank doesn’t support Apple Pay?! Fear not because I have just the solution! Enter Boon from Wirecard. This neat little service enables you to sign up for a virtual prepaid Mastercard that will function via your iPhone or iPad or Watch’s Apple Pay feature. Once up and running you’ll be able to pay for goods and services by presenting your iOs enabled device in place of a credit or debit card at store ‘point of sale’ units.
Why should we care? It’s the weirdest thing but most of us will probably agree that we leave our wallets behind before we’d ever forget our phones if if we’re in a complete rush out the door! So the hassle this service could save in an emergency could be invaluable. Moreover, the potential convenience of not always having to carry a wallet could be a real ‘boon’ for many. See what I did there?! ;)
What’s the catch. Best read the T’s & C’s but there doesn’t appear to be any. What’s more, the service is free to use for the first 12 months if you sign up before 1 February 2018. If you sign up after that that you’ll still be able to enjoy the first 3 months use free of charge. A monthly fee of €1.49 will apply thereafter.
It’s not entirely clear if it costs to use the service if travelling abroad. It appears that a 1.25% fee will apply to non Euro transactions but I’ve written to them to clarify this. Top ups made from credit cards apply immediately but top ups from debit cards may take a day or two to apply. There had been a hefty enough fee to top up via credit card so I was thrilled to learn that this appears to have been removed.
Can they be trusted? Boon is a product of Wirecard Card Solutions which are regulated in the UK by the FCA. This allows them to conduct business across the EU. Read more here. Most importantly, they are trusted by Apple which is a fairly solid endorsement, for me anyway. Ultimately it’s a case of Caveat Emptor so you guys need to make up your own minds on this one.
To get up and running you’ll have to download the Boon App from the iTunes store. Good news for Android users too as this service is also available to download from the Google Play Store. Once you open the app you’ll be walked through setup process which is fairly straight forward.
If you want to increase the transaction limits you’ll have to go through a more rigorous KYC procedure — basically just a matter of providing some information to identify who you are and then uploading some appropriate documents to verify same.
Personally I’m very excited to think that this service will enable me to try out Apple Pay without having to switch banks which would’ve been a lot of effort and probably not worth that hassle just so that I could use Apple Pay... What do you guys think? Anyone using Apple Pay already? Let me know what you think in the comments!