Retailer and Credit Card Internal Training Info Suggests October 20 Apple Pay Launch Date
Apple's new mobile payments service, Apple Pay, may be enabled shortly after its Thursday iPad-centric media event, according to internal information leaked from various retailers and credit card companies.
Employees that work for one of Apple's major Apple Pay credit card partners have already finished their Apple Pay training and have been told that the payments service will be released on Monday, October 20, according to an employee who shared the information with MacRumors.
Similarly, a lengthy internal memo from Panera Bread obtained by 9to5Mac also suggests that Apple will launch Apple Pay on Monday, October 20.
As you are aware, Panera is a featured partner with Apple in their announcement of the iPhone 6 and the new Apple Pay platform. Now, we are excited to share that Apple is very close to releasing Apple Pay and actually planning to launch on October 20th.
Panera, like many other Apple retail partners, is currently training its employees on how to accept Apple Pay payments through the company's Verifone point-of-sale-systems. Panera has provided a short training video for managers and cashiers, along with an FAQ and talking points.
Last week, an internal memo addressed to Walgreens employees suggested that Apple was planning to launch Apple Pay on October 18, so it is a bit unclear when Apple Pay will actually go live for consumers. A weekend debut is an odd choice for Apple, lending credence to the Monday, October 20 date.
USAA, one of Apple's bank partners, has said that it plans to begin supporting Apple Pay on November 7, suggesting that retailers and banks will begin rolling out support for the service at different times.
Whether planned for October 18 or October 20, the launch of Apple Pay appears to be imminent, and as Apple Pay will be enabled via an update to iOS 8, the launch of iOS 8.1 is also coming in the next few days. First seeded to developers in late September, iOS 8.1 contains hidden references to Apple Pay.
Apple Pay's exact debut date will likely be revealed during Apple's October 16 media event, which will see the company introducing a new iPad Air, a new Retina iPad mini and a Retina iMac. Both of Apple's new iPads include support for Touch ID and will allow users to make purchases within apps using Apple Pay.