Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday announced at the company’s special media event that its brand new Apple Pay mobile payments service will officially launch in the United States on Monday as over 500 new banks agree to support the platform by next year. Apple Pay was announced last month at the company’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus event.
Apple Pay is an NFC-based mobile payments system for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and is also compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s when paired with an Apple Watch. When the service rolls out in the United States next week, there will be support for over 220,000 participating stores through retail partners.
Apple Pay is powered by the NFC chip on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. When you want to make a payment, simply hold your iPhone near the point-of-sale system and verify you are the card holder by scanning your thumb with Touch ID. The system stores your credit card info in an encrypted and secure fashion using Touch ID and the A8 chip.
The mobile payments platform is deeply integrated with Passbook, enabling one-touch checkout with no card number entry, typing an address or signing a receipt required. Forget about carrying credit and debit cards in your wallet and simply use your iPhone for payments at Macy’s, McDonald’s, Whole Food Markets, Petco, Staples, Target and more.