Users who have linked their Apple ID to any payment method may be vulnerable to theft. Thieves are targeting compromised Apple IDs to make purchases with people’s accounts. Digital payment services like Alipay, WeChat pay or even credit cards may be vulnerable to theft. Alipay contacted Apple but the issue remains unresolved. They warned users that have linked their Apple identities to any payment services, to lower transaction limits to prevent further losses. Tencent, which owns WeChat pay, later confirmed similar issues. It noticed the cyber-heist and reached out to Apple.
These companies did not inform about how much of money lost due to theft. However, some reports states that the loses were as high as $290 USD, which is 2,000 yuan in China’s currency. As these companies become popular worldwide, they get in radar of these cyber-thieves. Apparently, Apple plans on refunding the money which was spent fraudulently. The issue might be in its ID system. It seems there has been a problem with the theft of Apple ID credentials. Thieves are using that to their advantage by logging in to the Apple accounts and making purchases.
Actions to prevent theft
Alipay and WeChat are China’s largest companies. They are asking users of their digital wallets to change their passwords. No one knows how the hackers acquired the IDs. Tencent is actively communicating with Apple to better understand how it’s resolving the situation.
Alipay was first created as the payment department of Taobao, the B2C platform of Alibaba Group, back in 2004. Taobao introduced Alipay as 3rd party to temporarily hold the money paid by the buyer. And seller gets the money only after buyer’s confirmation that they received the product in good conition. Alipay put a lot of emphasis on improving payment authorization rate to guarantee the best user experience. According to press report, Alipay currently has more than 600 million registered users, of which about 300 million are MAU and 80 million are DAU.
WeChat Pay- payment function of WeChat, widely seen as the WhatsApp of China. Considered one of the leading mobile payment solutions in China and actively used by some 600 million users every month, with the numbers rising all the time.
How does WeChat work:
The Chinese customer opens the WeChat or Weixin app on their smartphone. However, the new QR code gets automatically generated every 60 seconds. Therefore, making paying with WeChat very secure. To accept a WeChat payment, the merchant opens the WeChat acceptance app, developed by Wirecard, and then scans the customer’s QR code and enters the amount.
However, the payment process is initiated automatically because it is quicker than a credit card payment. At the end of every transaction, a confirmation is automatically sent both to the merchant and the customer by the system. At the customer’s request, a receipt can also be printed.