It turns out the rumors were true, Apple has been putting together a new mobile payment service, and it introduced it on stage today as “Apple Pay.” The service involves adding your credit cards to Passbook, and waiving your iPhone in front of what looks like an NFC reader to pay for goods and services in-store.
Apple says that security and privacy are very integral to Apple Pay. It doesn’t store your credit card numbers, nor does it transfer them to the merchant, and it doesn’t log what you buy or how much you pay for it. It simply creates a complex number for your card, and uses a one-time code for when you make payments.
The service is starting in the United States with support from AmericanExpress, MasterCard, Visa and 6 major banks. As for stores, Apple says that more than 220,000 retailers will work with Apple Pay including Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Wallgreens, Duane Reade, Subway, and McDonalds.
Online, Apple offers one-touch check out so that you don’t have to enter your CC information, billing address, etc. It will work in specific shopping apps initially, like Starbucks, GroupOn, Uber, and OpenTable. Major League Baseball is onboard too, and will allow you to buy tickets with Apple Pay.
Apple Pay will be available in the U.S. beginning in October, but Apple says that it is working hard to take the service worldwide in the “near future.” It will be compatible with only newer model iPhones: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch (which will require an iPhone for most of its functionality).