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35% of U.S. Merchants Now Accept Apple Pay, Now Works w/ Square Cash Virtual Debit Cards

35% of U.S. Merchants Now Accept Apple Pay, Now Works w/ Square Cash Virtual Debit Cards

Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey spoke at the Recode Code Conference on Wednesday, and announced that 35% of all U.S. merchants now accept the service. Only 4% of all U.S. merchants accepted the contactless payments system when it debuted two years ago.

35% of U.S. Merchants Now Accept Apple Pay, Now Works w/ Square Cash Virtual Debit Cards

The Verge:

… in the span of just two years Apple has managed to move from four to 35 percent of retailers (or 4 million locations) supporting Apple Pay in the US. Apple is also targeting big retailers for the next year, including GAP, to increase that growth.

Bailey says the new EMV chip cards are actually helping to drive Apple Pay adoption, as “once you figure out you have to dip, you wait awhile, you wait awhile,” (for the “BEEP!”) Bailey said Apple won’t be knocking EMV in ads and such.

“Knocking EMV is not necessarily the way to go,” Bailey says, “I think it’s to increase acceptance and work with great partners.” Instead, Apple is focusing on those partnerships, pushing out offers with retailers and banks. One example Bailey gave is bonus points with American Airlines.

Bailey teased about what’s next for Apple Pay, saying only “Everything in your wallet we’re thinking about.”

Moments after Bailey spoke, Jack Dorsey, CEO of payments processor Square took the stage, and announced immediate Apple Pay integration with Square Cash virtual cards. That means Square Cash users can use Apple Pay to pay for goods and services wherever Apple’s mobile payments solution is accepted.

“I’ve been using this as my primary card for about two months,” Dorsey said onstage, adding that he now uses Square’s payment card for everything from Netflix to his Blue Bottle coffee (he’s a frequent customer).

The move should speed up adoption of Square’s virtual debit cards a bit. Square Cash was originally designed as a peer-to-peer payments system, and only recently began offering their virtual debit card. While the service was useful for online purchases, they weren’t so handy to pay for purchases such as groceries, or local impulse buys. Apple Pay integration should make things a bit easier for Square customers

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