CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple Inc. announced this week that it is enacting a number of significant enhancements to its Apple Pay mobile payment app, including adding support for rewards programs and store-issued credit and debit cards. During a keynote address at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey said that a range of retailers, including Dunkin' Donuts, Walgreens, Wegmans and Kohl's, will support the new reward card functionality.
Customers simply have to hold their iOS device up to the NFC reader at the partner retailer’s POS and the correct reward card will automatically be selected, making Apple Pay even more convenient for consumers. A new store-finder feature on Apple’s new iOS 9 Maps app will also show consumers where retailers who accept Apple Pay are located.
The mobile payments service will also launch in the United Kingdom next month, with availability at more than 250,000 locations with support from eight of the U.K.’s most established banks, across all of the major credit and debit card networks.
Other upcoming changes include the availability of an Apple Pay Square card reader at Apple Store locations later this year. This will allow any retailer that accepts Square payments to also accept Apple Pay, which would open the mobile payment service to smaller retailers.
Bailey said that Apple expects to have 1 million merchant locations accepting Apple Pay as of July 2015. Currently more than 2,500 banks, as well as MasterCard, Visa and American Express, support Apple Pay. Discover will start supporting Apple Pay in Fall 2015.
For more on Apple Pay and how it may affect retailers, read “Apple Pay, At Its Core” in the January issue of NACS Magazine.