Oct 17, 2014 04:24 PM EDT
Apple launched it's new iPad lineup and introduced a new super high-definition iMac at a special event yesterday on its Cupertino campus. During the event, it was also announced that the company's mobile payment platform, Apple Pay, would be launching this Monday, Oct. 20 alongside iOS 8.1, a software update that will be necessary for iOS devices to make mobile payments. Apple reportedly has partnered with upwards of 500 banks and a multitude of retailers in order to ensure wide-spread support for Apple Pay in the U.S.
Apple Pay will allow iOS users to make payments at retail locations by using nothing more than their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air (2014) or, eventually, their Apple Watch. The iPhone 5s and the new iPad mini (2014) will also work with Apple Pay thanks to their Touch ID support.
Senior vice president of Apple's internet and software services Eddy Cue had this to say regarding the new payment platform: "Our team has worked incredibly hard to make Apple Pay private and secure, with the simplicity of a single touch of your finger. The reaction to Apple Pay has been amazing. We continue to add more Apple Pay ready banks, credit card companies and merchants, and think our users will love paying with Apple Pay."
The reason Apple is only allowing AP to work on devices with Touch ID support is because it adds a much needed level of security to private financial information and also the power to access credit cards and bank accounts contained on iOS devices. By requiring users to authenticate their purchases using their thumb or fingerprint, Apple feels this will ensure unwanted or unlawful transactions through theft or other means will not happen in any great number.
Apple has partnered with American Express, MasterCard and Visa, and all three major credit card companies will support Apple Pay when it launches, and so will banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Capital one and others. Any wireless retail POS terminal will support Apple Pay, and Apple has made agreements with certain specific stores to guarantee the new service will also work there, like Sephora, Staples, Macy's and Whole Foods.
Apple Pay launches next week on Monday, October 20. Apple will first release iOS 8.1 in an over-the-air update which will enable the payment service on compatible devices. Those in doubt about whether their particular bank will support the new service should contact their banks and find out.
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