Apple has announced that Apple Pay will become available in the US this coming Monday, 20 October. The mobile payments solution is billed by the company as an easy, secure and private way to pay using Touch ID on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in stores and within apps. Apple’s latest tablet devices, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will also offer a Touch ID service for Apple Pay use within apps. The new service will be enabled by a free software update to iOS 8.
Apple Pay is designed to protect the user’s personal information. It doesn’t collect any transaction information that can be tied back to a user and payment transactions are between the user, the merchant and the user’s bank. Apple says that the solution doesn’t collect purchase history. Actual card numbers are not stored on the device, instead, a unique device account number is created, encrypted and stored in the secure element of the device. The device account number in the secure element is walled off from iOS and not backed up to iCloud.
Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from the three major payment networks, American Express, MasterCard and Visa, issued by the top US banks. In addition to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo and others, who announced support in September, more than 500 new banks from across the country have signed on to Apple Pay. Users can make purchases in stores and within apps, with credit cards issued by many of the major US banks, which make up 83 percent of the credit card purchase volume in the US.
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