As an alternative payment method to debit and credit cards, Apple Pay offers more security by allowing customers to make transactions without storing their payment details in another commercial database.
In a press release announcing the support, Southwest said the airline's new Apple Pay integration would enable users to "purchase tickets from the carrier's app – with Apple Card if they so choose – and store it in the Wallet for redemption at the gate."
"Providing modern digital payment solutions to our Customers is critical," said Christopher Priebe, Director, Treasury, Payments and Risk at Southwest Airlines. "The launch of Apple Pay enhances our ability to sell flights, as well as ancillary products using one of the most widely-used digital wallets in North America."
The Apple Pay integration is the result of a partnership agreement with Southwest Airlines and digital commerce provider, CellPoint Digital, with help from airline-owned payment network UATP.
The partnership allows airlines to deploy new payment methods quickly using, including major global wallets like Apple Pay, Visa Checkout, WeChat Pay, Alipay, Google Pay or Pay Tm, along with bank transfer, installments and cash-based payment options.