Apple Pay now expands with rewards program and makes mobile payments better with more support and ways to pay in the U.S. The payment feature acceptance will expand to more than a million by next month. Apple’s mobile payment system will accept debit and credit cards of all major card networks from popular banks, about 98 percent of all the volume of credit card buys in the U.S.
Apple Pay enables iPhone and Apple Watch users to tap their smartphone or smartwatch on contactless readers to pay for purchases. It came live in October with 200,000 locations in the U.S. and will expand to more than a million soon. New merchants list this year has names of Baskin Robbins, EXPRESS, Johnny Rockets, LEGO Brand Retail, Best Buy, Dunkin’ Donuts, Kohl’s Department Stores, JCPenny, Levi’s, White Castle, El Pollo Loco, BevMo!, Forever 21, Trader Joe’s, Big Lots, Peet’s Coffee and Square.
Apple’s mobile payment service will continue to have support from popular apps so that the checkout process only requires a touch. The apps that bring Apple Pay to consumers include Munchery, Kickstarter, Best Buy, Gilt, zulily, Dunkin’ Donuts, Nordstromrack.com, Fly Delta and HauteLook. Buyable Pins from Pinterest will join the bandwagon to enable users to buy items from stores like Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Cole Haan and a thousand other stores from within the Pinterest app, only on iOS, through Apple Pay.
Senior VP of Apple’s Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue said their wireless payment feature started a new era of payments which users love for being incredibly easy, private and secure. With its expansion to support store-issued cards and rewards program, Apple Pay is poised to change the way people pay, he added.
iOS 9 will now come with Passbook app, that will go beyond its role as a place to store coupons, tickets, boarding passes and gift cards. It will become a Wallet with many options at checkout with the rewards and store-issued cards for Apple Pay. Users just need to add participating rewards and store cards to the Wallet app so they become usable during an Apply Pay purchase checkout.
Apple Pay expands with rewards program and will soon be supported by Walgreens Balance Rewards program, the loyalty program of the nation’s largest drugstore with more than 80 million members, Kohl’s Department Stores and its 30 million Yes2You Reward program members, Coca-Cola, Wegmans Food Markets, Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera Bread and others. It will also have the support of cards issued by stores like BJ’s Wholesale Club, JCPenney and many more coming.
Kohl’s Chairman, CEO and President Kevin Mansell said they are providing their shoppers more ways to pay by supporting Apple Pay so that customers can choose how to pay, easily and securely. Meanwhile, Chairman and CEO of Dunkin’ Brands Nigel Travis said they cannot think of a better way to reward their customers’ loyalty than by offering Apple Pay, plus the option to use personalized rewards with their buys.
Shoppers will likewise be able to manage their cards through Wallet app. Apple’s payment service will be in the U.K. next month with the support with 250,000 merchants and eight major banks including HSBC, Lloyds and Natwest. It means iPhone users, which comprise 70 percent of smartphone owners in the U.K. will be able to pay through the contactless payment system this summer.
Transport For London is one of the firms that will accept Apple Pay, which means locals and tourists alike will be able to use their Apple devices when traveling through the London Underground. To do so, one needs either an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8.1 or later, credit or debit card from a participating bank, Touch ID or passcode and an iCloud account. Apple Pay expands with rewards program and in the U.K., it is said more banks will be joining in autumn.
By Judith Aparri
Apple Press Info: Apple Pay Giving Shoppers Even More Ways to Pay
The Week: Apple Pay UK: date for new payment system revealed
Macworld: How to use Apple Pay on the London Underground: Pay for Tube journeys with iPhone and
Photo courtesy of Shinya Suzuki‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License