Just ahead of Tim Cook's speech at today's Cybersecurity Summit, The White House has announced federal-payment cards are gaining Apple Pay support, reports Bloomberg. People who receive veterans and Social Security benefits from the government via debit card will now be able to use those cards with Apple Pay.
The deal includes the Direct Express payment network and government cards issued through GSA SmartPay, which handles more than 87.4 million transaction worth $26.4 billion each year, according to the General Services Administration.
Apple Pay has been lauded by banks and other payment industry executives for its security, and its acceptance by the federal government is a valuable endorsement for the service.
Apple Pay is seen as a highly secure solution due to its use of tokenization, which generates a unique code for each transaction to prevent actual credit card numbers from being shared. It also protects all consumer data like name and address, and it further ensures secure payments through fingerprint verification with Touch ID.
Currently, Apple Pay is only available in the United States, but it is set to expand internationally in the coming months. Apple Pay for China is expected in the near future, through a partnership with China's UnionPay.
Update: As outlined by Apple CEO Tim Cook, government support for Apple Pay will also enable people to pay for things like access to national parks with Apple Pay, beginning in September.
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