New Apple MacBook Pro’s Most Intriguing Feature

Just days ago Apple launched the latest version of its popular MacBook Pro. Over the next week, tech media will be reviewing, criticising and praising the new releases (right down to the decision to change the iconic startup sound). There is one feature, however, that all e-commerce professionals should know about.

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Arguably the biggest change to the MacBook Pro is the inclusion of an OLED touch bar running along the top of the keyboard. The bar (powered by what is basically an Apple Watch inside the machine) allows users to access smart shortcuts that change depending on the application that is currently open: skip tracks in iTunes, add emojis in iMessage, scroll through pictures in iPhoto. The touch bar also contains a fingerprint scanner linked to Apple’s Touch ID functions.

Fingerprint scanning isn’t new, most flagship smartphones and many laptops offer fingerprint login. However, Apple has the capabilities to normalise the technology, by rolling it out across the many Apple products within the Apple ecosystem.

Apple’s Keychain, which when connected to an iCloud account, allows for sharing of online passwords between devices. Logging onto a website on my iPhone with fingerprint identification is a great feature (I hate typing in long passwords on little keyboards, not to mention remembering all of the different passwords I use). Some bank’s mobile apps already allow Touch ID login, it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a standard for secure online identification.

Increased online security and convenient logins can mean a potential shift in e-commerce checkout payments. Last month Apple linked Apple Pay to Safari, allowing online shoppers to pay online through the mobile point-of-sale service. Through Apple Pay’s API, a mobile store can offer a user the ability to pay for items put into an online basket through Apple Pay, either directly on the mobile or with a second screen (either iPhone or Apple Watch) if browsing on a computer. The service is more secure than using a credit or debit card and is also a much smoother transaction experience for the consumer.

With a fingerprint scanner built into the laptop, there will be no need to involve a second device in the checkout experience. Making payments easier and more secure seems like the logical step for the new MacBook Pro touch bar. E-commerce directors and managers should already be looking at how to implement Apple Pay at checkout to ensure that they get ahead of this potential new consumer trend.

This story was first published at Half A World, visit us to keep up with the latest developments in digital in the Asia-Pacific

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