Apple Announces Bold Move into Mobile Payments Using NFC Technology

Sep 9 2014

Apple, as predicted, is taking the NFC plunge, adopting the technology in its next iPhones and Apple Watch to enable a mobile-payments service, Apple Pay, and disclosing partnerships with the three largest U.S. payment networks, issuers representing more than 80% of U.S. credit card volume and major national merchants.

Partners, as predicted, include Visa, MasterCard Worldwide and American Express; such big issuers as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citi; and such national merchants as fast-food chains McDonald’s and Subway, retail pharmacies Walgreens and Duane Reade, department stores Macy’s and Bloomingdales, Staples office supply, and Whole Foods Market, as well as Disney stores and Apple’s own stores. The service is scheduled to launch next month in the U.S. 

Apple didn’t disclose whether the merchants would offer any additional features for the transactions beyond NFC-contactless payments, which they could accept with standard contactless payment terminals. Apple noted that contactless is accepted at 220,000 merchant locations in the U.S., which is not a high penetration of the millions of card-accepting merchant locations in the U.S. 

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