Apple just made a number of announcements at its developers conference for its Apple Pay digital payment service.
The big news is that it will expand to the UK market next month, making its first foray outside of the US. For the launch, Apple Pay is partnering with eight of the largest banks in the UK, supporting more than 70% of all credit and debit cards in the country.
Apple Pay will also be available in more than 250,000 locations in the UK, including retail stores like Marks & Spencer and Boots, which is more than the number of stores it was available in when it first launched in the US.
Another big announcement that drew a lot of attention: London’s transportation service will now start accepting Apple Pay.
Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s VP of Internet Services, shared the following updates on Apple Pay:
- 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 favourite retail and loyalty cards to Apple Pay, such as the point cards you use at Walgreen’s or Dunkin Doughnuts. 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.