It’s official: You’ll be able to use Apple’s new payments system in under a week.
Apple just announced at its iPad event that it will officially launch Apple Pay on Monday, October 20.
The company first announced the service, which will let you pay for stuff with an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or Apple Watch either in physical stores or through apps, in September.
Apple has convinced some of the biggest credit card companies and banks to support Apple Pay including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and banks like Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo. CEO Tim Cooks says that Apple has also signed on 500 new banks since it first announced the service in September.
To get started with Apple Pay, you can simply add a credit card from your iTunes account. You’ll also be able to add new credit cards to Apple Pay just by using the iSight camera on your phone — no need to type in card numbers. Each card will get a device-only account number, so the actual credit card number is never stored on either your phone or Apple’s servers.
The service is starting in the U.S. and will work with American Express, Mastercard, and Visa, as well as several major banks, like Capital One, PNC, and Chase.
With Apple Pay, you’ll pay for something with a touch of your finger using TouchID. Apple has partnered with a bunch of stores like Whole Foods, Macy’s, Target, Walgreens, Chipotle, McDonald’s, and, of course, Apple stores, and works at over 220,000 merchants total. So, you’ll be able to go into one of those stores, open up Apple Pay, hold your phone up to an NFC reader, and simply touch it to authorise a payment.
It will also work with apps like Uber, Seamless, and Groupon, and websites like Target, which will give you the option to pay with one click. Cook says that since the original announcement in September, tons of new partners have signed on. The effects of Apple Pay, he says, will be “profound.”