Walgreens Planning for October 18 Apple Pay Launch
An internal memo addressed to Walgreens employees designed to prepare them for the upcoming launch of Apple Pay suggests that Apple's new payments service might be going live on Saturday, October 18.
A Saturday launch is unusual, but it could make sense as Apple Pay is designed for in-store shopping and a weekend debut would give customers time to try the service. It is, however, also possible that Apple Pay will go live shortly before the October 18 date, following the company's Thursday, October 16 iPad event, with support coming to Walgreens a day or two later.
At its October 16 event, Apple is expected to debut a new iPad Air, Retina iMacs, and possibly a new Retina iPad mini. The event, which will also likely see Apple previewing OS X Yosemite one last time before its public debut, would also be an opportune time to divulge more information about Apple Pay and possibly even launch the payments service.
As announced on September 9, popular drug store Walgreens is one of Apple's major launch partners, along with other companies like McDonalds, Macy's, Staples, and more. According to the Walgreens memo, customers who have an iPhone 6 will be able to use Apple Pay in Walgreens stores by tapping their devices "to the upper portion of the pinpad to pay for their purchase."
Earlier this week, USAA assistant vice president Vikram Parekh suggested the bank would begin supporting Apple Pay on November 7, leading many to believe the service might see an official launch on that date, but it is possible that USAA and other banks may roll out support at different times following the launch of Apple Pay. Apple originally promised an October launch for Apple Pay when it unveiled the service.
Apple Pay will be enabled on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices through an update to iOS 8. iOS 8.1, which has already been seeded to developers, includes hidden Apple Pay settings and set up screens. With Apple Pay set to launch on or around the time of Apple's October 16 event, that also means we should be seeing iOS 8.1 at that time as well.