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Apple Pay Rolls Out to Limited Audience
Apple Pay premiered last week, becoming available at a variety of major retailers like American Eagle Outfitters, Babies “R” Us, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Bloomingdale’s, Disney, PetSmart, McDonald’s, Whole Foods Market, Walgreens, Macy’s, and more. The list is expected to grow by the end of the year with Anthropologie, Sephora, Stables, Urban Outfitters, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts joining.
Apple Pay can potentially be accepted at any place that has an NFC reader. Only iPhone 6 users have the Apple Pay app available in Passbook. The plus side for customers is that private information is stored in a secure place that is immune to hacking.
Overall, it’s still too early to tell if Apple Pay will be a success or suffer the same fate as Google Wallet and other NFC payment systems that have gone defunct. Its initial launch has been a bit hindered by being available to only 10 million people that have the new iPhone and some big retailers are waiting for the rollout of CurrenC, which is another mobile payment system. Developed by Merchant Current Exchange, retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, CVS, Kmart, Old Navy, Sears, 7-Eleven, Target, and Wal-Mart are waiting for CurrenC to hit the market and will likely snub Apple Pay. CVS actually made headlines by shutting off NFC across its stores on the eve of the Apple Pay launch.
However, Apple is known for revolutionizing the way we live our lives, from the way we listen to music, to how we pay for things. The Apple touch could give NFC payment the push it needs into the mainstream. Apple Pay certainly is safer than the magnetic strip credit card, but those are being phased out as well for EMV chips. Only time will tell if Apple Pay and NFC technology as a whole ends up being a boom or a bust.
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