Apple Announces 'Apple Pay' Mobile Payment Solution, Enabled at Over 220,000 U.S. Merchants

At a special media event today, Apple announced its new Apple Pay payment solution for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which utilizes the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a new "Secure Element" functionality, and the built-in NFC antenna in conjunction with a credit card stored on iTunes. Apple Pay will also be compatible with the just-announced Apple Watch.

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To make a payment, users hold the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus to a receiver while holding the Touch ID home button. Apple states that card numbers will only be stored or shared in Secure Element, and if an iPhone is ever lost or stolen, Find my iPhone can suspend all payments. Apple is also touting privacy, stating that it does not record what users bought or how much they paid. Cashiers also do not see a name, credit card number, or security code.

“Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you’re using Apple Pay in a store, restaurant or other merchant, cashiers will no longer see your name, credit card number or security code, helping to reduce the potential for fraud,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Apple doesn’t collect your purchase history, so we don’t know what you bought, where you bought it or how much you paid for it. And if your iPhone is lost or stolen, you can use Find My iPhone to quickly suspend payments from that device.”

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Apple Pay will first launch in the United States next month as an update to iOS 8 and will be compatible with American Express, Mastercard, and Visa credit and debit cards, with Citi, Bank of America, Capital One, Wells Fargo, and Chase also listed as partners.

Apple highlights that the program will work with over 220,000 U.S. retail stores, including Walgreens, Duane Reade, Macy's, Nike, Bloomingdales, Staples, Subway, McDonalds, and more. Apple will also launch a new Apple Pay API for developers to integrate the system into their apps.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Top Rated Comments

nagromme Avatar
127 months ago
Are you kidding? This is pretty much an exact clone of Google Wallet which came out in 2011. I have been using it almost daily since 2011 and I live in the US where according to some people where there isn't any contactless payments.

"Exact clone?" Google Wallet has the Apple secure storage chip, the same arrangements with banks and cards, the same developer support, and TouchID? And had all that since 2011? Amazing :p
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swarmster Avatar
127 months ago
I hate to be that guy but it's pretty funny seeing people on twitter saying this is "godlike" when NFC has been around for a LONG time.

I own no Android products but it's still annoying how blind people are.
The companies that put Android on their phones may have stuck an NFC chip in one, but that's a long shot from what Apple's showing here.

Of course, a lot remains to be seen.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
genovelle Avatar
127 months ago
Are you kidding? This is pretty much an exact clone of Google Wallet which came out in 2011. I have been using it almost daily since 2011 and I live in the US where according to some people where there isn't any contactless payments.

So, Google Wallet uses a secure Touch ID system to verify your identity?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swarmster Avatar
127 months ago
Are you kidding? This is pretty much an exact clone of Google Wallet which came out in 2011. I have been using it almost daily since 2011 and I live in the US where according to some people where there isn't any contactless payments.

Not acting as a middle-man or tracking purchases, not sharing credit card numbers or details with retailers, actual partnerships with real world banks and retailers. Outside a few enthusiasts, I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone using Google Wallet (okay, they gave me $10 off at Newegg once).

It remains to be seen whether this will take off, but Apple's at least making an effort in positioning it. Google Wallet's felt like the kind of Google endless-beta that might suddenly disappear any quarter now.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
reclusive46 Avatar
127 months ago
Why roll it out in the US first where contactless use is pretty much non-existent? Contactelss usage and acceptance is much higher in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cloudyo Avatar
127 months ago
This has nothing to do with NFC being new. This payment solution is the first of its kind. It happens to use NFC but thats not the point.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)