Among the announcements at Apple’s event today was the debut of Apple’s new electronic payments service, “Apple Pay.” The new service will use the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch built-in NFC antennas, along with a dedicated “Secure Element” chip and the iPhone’s Touch ID sensor to create a secure, private, and easy way to pay.
Apple pay can use any credit card or debit card already on file in the iTunes and App Stores. Users can also add a credit or debit card to their Apple Pay account by simply taking a photo of the card.
Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from the three major payment networks, American Express, MasterCard and Visa, issued by the most popular banks including Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo, representing 83 percent of credit card purchase volume in the US.
In addition to the 258 Apple retail stores in the US, some of the nation’s leading retailers that will support Apple Pay include Bloomingdale’s, Disney Store and Walt Disney World Resort, Duane Reade, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Sephora, Staples, Subway, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market.
The Apple Watch will also work at the over 220,000 merchant locations across the US that have contactless payment enabled. Apple Pay is also able to make purchases through apps in the App Store.
“Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you’re using Apple Pay in a store, restaurant or other merchant, cashiers will no longer see your name, credit card number or security code, helping to reduce the potential for fraud,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Apple doesn’t collect your purchase history, so we don’t know what you bought, where you bought it or how much you paid for it. And if your iPhone is lost or stolen, you can use Find My iPhone to quickly suspend payments from that device.”
When making a payment, a user will simply hold their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus to a receiver while holding the Touch ID home button. Apple says that all card numbers will only be stored or shared in Secure Element, and if your iPhone is ever lost or stolen, you can use “Find My iPhone” to suspend all cards and payments.
Apple also points out that it does not record what users bought or how much they paid, plus cashiers will not be able to view your name, credit card number, or security code.
Apple Pay will first launch in the United States in October as an update to iOS 8. Apple Pay will work in stores with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. Apple Pay APIs will be available to developers in iOS 8 so they can enable purchasing physical goods within their apps on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.