Vocabulary Practice: Newest Trends

Read the text again and do the task.

Payment methods have evolved throughout history, from simple bartering to bitcoin. Livestock is believed to be the oldest form of currency, used as early as 9000 B.C. The shekel, dating back to 3000 B.C., was a weight of grain used in Mesopotamia, which later evolved into metal coins. Some other peculiar forms of payment have included shell money originating in China, leather money – pieces of white deerskin, and wampum – strings of beads used by Native Americans.

Today, the evolution of payment solutions continues, with coins and banknotes gradually becoming obsolete and being replaced with cutting-edge technologies. One of the latest trends which deserves special attention are m-payments. The increased use of smartphones has paved the way for utilizing them as payment devices in a secure, easy and private way.

Apple Pay, Apple’s digital wallet service, is an example of an m-payment method. It is a substitute for credit or debit card transactions performed at POS terminals using a chip and a PIN or a magnetic stripe. It resembles contactless payments but additionally uses two-factor authentication. With the service, Apple devices can wirelessly communicate with POS systems using a near-field-communication (NFC) antenna, a Secure Element consisting of a dedicated chip containing encrypted payment information, a finger recognition feature known as Touch ID, and Apple’s Wallet.

M-payments can be used for banking, online shopping and purchasing goods at store checkouts. However, let us not forget that with new payment trends come new security threats, as they can never be fully eradicated.