Apple Pay – What’s the Latest?

Apple Pay, for those of you who haven’t heard about it, allows in-store credit or debit card payments using the iPhone, thanks to NFC technology. Here’s how it works:

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently offered a quick update on the rapid growth of Apple Pay. Apparently the company’s mobile payment technology is now supported by 2,500 card-issuing banks (up from only six when the product was announced in September 2014). The number of locations accepting Apple Pay has tripled to nearly 700,000, it will work with 100,000 coke vending machines before 2016, and can be used on the Apple Watch.

You can use Apple Pay on Apple Watch, too

Although we already more or less knew that Apple Pay worked on the Apple Watch, now we’ve seen a demo of it at Apple’s Spring Forward event. Seeing as the Apple Watch has NFC technology built-in, it too can tap to pay. With the Apple Watch, you don’t have to physically tap it against the terminal, you just need to get close enough for it to register. A tap of the side button will bring up your credit card, and then you’re good to go.

Apple Pay works at 700,000 locations, including a bunch of Coke machines

At its Spring Forward event, Apple announced that it now works with 700,000 stores and that Apple Pay is available in each and every one. Apple started out with just 220,000 locations back in September, and the number has grown month after month. On its website, the company lists its own store, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Duane Reade, McDonald’s, Sephora, Petco, Panera Bread, Staples, Nike, Walgreens, Subway, Whole Foods, Marriott, and more as participating stores. The list continues to grow, with dozens of clothing stores, restaurants, and other retailers signing up. Also, chances are, if you see the NFC mobile payments symbol on a cash register, Apple Pay will work at that store, too.

Apple pay already works in 40,000 Coca Cola vending machines, but tap to pay will roll out to 100,000 Coke machines before 2016 arrives. Also, thanks to an earlier deal with USA Technologies, 200,000 vending machines and self-service terminals will now support Apple Pay. You’ll be able to tap-to-pay at vending machines, laundromats, parking terminals, and other automated check out systems with your iPhone instead of pulling out quarters and crinkled dollar bills.

In September, iPhone users will be able to pay admission to national parks with Apple Pay, Tim Cook announced at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection.

Consumers can already pay for your gas with Apple Pay at many gas stations, but they have to go inside to do so. Since most customers prefer to pay at the pump, Chevron announced via Twitter that it’s working with Apple to bring Apple Pay to the pump. Although there’s no official timeline set for the debut of tap-to-pay terminals at the pump, Chevron stated earlier that the new service may arrive at select gas stations as early as 2015.

Visa Europe speeds up Apple Pay’s arrival

Initially, Apple Pay only works in the United States, but Visa Europe stated that it is working with Apple to bring the feature to Europe as soon as possible. On February 24, Visa Europe announced the launch of something called “tokenisation,” a super secure way of conducting mobile payments without exposing card and account details. Beyond that, it’s easily disabled in the event of a phone being stolen.

Tokenisation was a key driver in Apple Pay’s launch in the U.S., and is in use by Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Its official introduction in Europe indicate’s Visa is making sure it’s prepared for Apple Pay’s eventual launch, which may by hastened by this important step. According to the press release, Visa tokenisation will be online in mid-April.

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