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October 22, 2014

Apple Releases Apple Pay, Several Banks Join Ranks

With the scheduled launch of Apple Pay, Oct. 20, now a reality, several credit card companies and banks are announcing their support of the platform.

One such company, reported by Bezinga, is American Express. The credit card company stated that participating cards would be available for use with Apple Pay and its members who choose to use Apple Pay would find themselves with the same protections and benefits they have always enjoyed.

American Express provided instructions for its Apple users and said that, if they are using iOS 8.1 on an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, they should first download the Apple Passbook App. Users on file with iTunes can type in their passwords to get started. Otherwise, they can add their credit cards through the app's interface.

Apple describes the Apple Pay system on its website as able to change how users make digital payments with their iPhones, Apple watches, or iPads. With the iPhone 6, users need only take advantage of near field communication by holding their phones near contactless readers. Once payments are successful, users' iPhones will beep and vibrate to confirm transactions. By clicking a button on the Apple Watch, it will also become ready to send payments through NFC. Users can also use the app itself to make digital payments.

American Express is not the only prominent company that has signed on to work with the new Apple system. Global payment processing company First Data also recently announced its participation. It says that participating financial institutions with Apple Pay can use First Data to create secure tokens and provision credit cards. Two banks that have signed up for this service are Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Wells Fargo mentioned in its announcement that it would continue to provide its customers with risk and fraud detection systems through Apple Pay, and Bank of America noted that all of its own customers and those with Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust would receive similar protections such as those addressed by their competitors.

Several other banks are listed among the early adopters of Apple Pay on the Apple website. Those are Capital One, Chase, and Citi. BarclayCard, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, USAA, and U.S. Bank are expected to join the service by the end of 2014. Over 220,000 stores in the U.S. are now able to accept contactless payments. That number is reportedly growing with some big names such as Staples and Walt Disney World reported to sign up with Apple Pay in the near future.







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