With yesterday’s release of iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay, shoppers can now experience the convenience of making payments with the touch of a finger at over 220,000 stores in the U.S. (and possibly elsewhere) outfitted with NFC contactless terminals.
Apple’s now published a new support document detailing the types of plastic Apple Pay supports.
Long story short, major credit and debit cards are accepted as you would expect. Certain prepaid cards, corporate cards and loyalty and gift cards issued by some banks not so much.
Apple previously advertised that it’s accepting MasterCard, Visa and American Express cards from the top U.S. banks. The support document makes it clear that corporate cards can’t be used with Apple Pay for the time being.
General purpose reloadable cards from the Visa, Mastercard and American Express payment networks — excluding merchant gift cards or other non-network gift cards — are supported with Chase and American Express only.
The system accepts any personal credit card issued by American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch, U.S. Trust and Wells Fargo, as well as personal debit cards with the exception of American Express and J.P. Morgan which are listed as “n/a” on Apple’s chart seen below.
Co-branded plastic, which includes airline, hotel, retail and rewards cards, are accepted from American Express, Bank of America, Chase and Citi. Apple Pay also supports small business credit cards issued by American Express and Capital One and small business debit cards From Bank of America and Capital One. As for prepaid cards, only those issued by American Express, Chase and Wells Fargo are accepted in Apple Pay.
Visa separately announced that Barclaycard, First National Bank of Omaha, M&T Bank, PNC, Navy Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, USAA and U.S. Bank “are expected” to offer Apple Pay to their cardholders ”in the coming weeks”.
This is in addition to the more than four hundred financial institutions that Visa is working with to enable Apple Pay for Visa credit and debit cardholders.
MasterCard said that Apple Pay works for cardholders with a MasterCard consumer credit or debit card from Barclaycard, USAA, PNC, Navy Federal Credit Union, US Bank, Fifth Third, First Hawaiian, First National Bank of Omaha, First Niagara, Key Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, SSFCU, SunTrust and Synchrony Financial, among many others.
And finally, American Express confirmed that Apple Pay purchases made with an eligible American Express card can be examined in greater detail in the Amex Mobile app with enhanced account monitoring, servicing and access to rewards and offers.
The company underscored that prepaid cards and products and American Express Corporate cards are not eligible for Apple Pay. “For American Express-branded cards issued by other financial institutions, please contact your issuer to see if they participate in Apple Pay,” notes the release.
Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, discussed the challenges Apple Pay faces in a brief interview with the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
“We’re trying to do something that I think is a game changer and it requires a lot of people to play together,” he told the financial newspaper. “There’s a lot to do here and we have a lot of work to do, but it should be huge.”
Although proprietary cards by big name retailers such as Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are not supported in Apple Pay just yet, a Macy’s spokesman told the paper he expected support for the Macy’s branded card to be added eventually.
The biggest drawback of Apple Pay as it is now is that customers who use retailers’ proprietary credit cards might miss out on discounts tied to the store cards, while merchants “relinquish revenue they receive from issuing banks,” the article observes.
Conclusively, Businessweek spoke to Starbucks which wouldn’t give a timeline for accepting Apple Pay at the cashier because it hasn’t invested in the near-field communication (NFC) equipment to accept contactless payments.
Some retailers are taking an issue with Apple Pay’s strong privacy features preventing them from siphoning the names, email addresses and other personal information from Apple Pay transactions.
Wal-Mart and a handful of other big merchants won’t be supporting Apple Pay in the near future. Instead, they’re taking a different route and backing their own system developed by Merchant Customer Exchange.
Merchants collect as much as four percent of each transaction with their proprietary cards, according to Richard Crone, founder of Crone Consulting.
In addition to retail locations, Apple Pay can be used to pay for goods and services in apps and on websites, using supported iOS devices.
iDownloadBlog has provided a list of some of the most popular iPhone apps that have been refreshed with Apple Pay support. And, Apple itself has made it a lot easier to find and install Apple Pay-compatible apps in a new App Store section titled ‘Buy With Pay’.