In a series of announcements at its developers conference, Apple has revealed a number of expansions for the Apple Pay Digital Payment service. The biggest news is that Apple will expand the service and launch a UK market in the following month, making it the first expansion outside of the US. Apple Pay will partner with eight of the largest banks in the UK to support more than 70% of all credit and debit cards within the country. Apple Pay will also be usable in more than 250,000 locations in the UK which include more retail stores than were available at launch in the US.
Additionally, Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s VP of Internet Services, announced the following at the conference:
There are 2,500 banks supporting Apple Pay now: Discover will also join Apple Pay this fall, which means all four major credit cards are part of it as well.
Square will release a new Apple Pay reader: Apple and Square are working together to bring Apple Pay to millions of small business owners. As part of the partnership, Square is releasing a new card reader this fall, which has contactless NFC payment reading capability.
More than 1 million US locations accept Apple Pay: Some of the biggest retailers in the US now accept Apple Pay, and according to Bailey, “merchants are seeing more than a 2X increase in checkout rate among customers using Apple Pay in apps.”
Apple Pay for Pinterest: Pinterest is adding a new “buy” function next month, and Apple Pay will be included as one of the payment options.
Retail and loyalty cards: You can now add your favorite retail and loyalty cards to Apple Pay, such as the point cards you use at Walgreen’s or Dunkin Donuts. It will automatically present you the right card at check out.
Apple Passbook renamed to Wallet: Apple just renamed its Passbook app, which allowed users to store information about coupons, credit cards, and event tickets in a single app, to Wallet. Bailey said the Wallet is “one place for all your credit and debit cards, reward cards, boarding passes, tickets and more,” and is “well on its way” to replacing your wallet.
With these significant expansions, Apple Pay continues to charge forward without Bitcoin, and it doesn’t look like they will be adding it any time soon. Historically, Apple has been rather anti-Bitcoin, keeping any sort of mobile wallet off the App Store for many months before finally relenting. App publishers still aren’t allowed to offer in-app purchases made with digital currency, doing so would cause their app to be removed from the store. Apple Pay’s popularity comes from the never-ending brand loyalty and the willingness of new stores to accept the payment solution. With an increasing number of partners and overseas expansion, Apple Pay is positioned for further growth.
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Images via Apple.