CUPERTINO, Calif. (10/17/14)--With commitments from 500 financial institutions, Apple said Thursday that Apple Pay, its much-discussed electronic wallet, will become available to U.S. consumers on Monday.
Through ApplePay, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus use Touch ID for purchases in stores and within apps. Touch ID authorizes purchases using the device owner's fingerprint, which is also used to access the device. Users of the just-announced iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will be able to use Touch ID on their devices for Apple Pay within apps. The new service will be enabled by a free software update to iOS 8.
Apple Pay is designed to protect the user's personal information. It doesn't collect any transaction information that can be tied back to a user, and payment transactions are between the user, the merchant and the user's bank. Apple doesn't collect purchase history. Actual card numbers are not stored on the device, instead, a unique device account number is created, encrypted and stored in the secure element of the device.
Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from the three major payment networks: American Express, MasterCard and Visa.
CO-OP Financial Services is in active negotiations with Visa and MasterCard to bring the lowest aggregated issuer fees to credit unions (News Now Sept. 11). Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv has said that all Fiserv-processed debit and credit issuers have tokenization capabilities--the security measure used by Apple Pay--available to them through the Visa Token Service and MasterCard Digital Enablement Service.