Apple Pay now available in the US

The Apple Pay mobile wallet is now available for iPhone users in the United States

The Apple Pay mobile wallet is now available for iPhone users in the United States.

The system allows iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users to pay for goods and services using a combination of the mobile wallet and fingerprint authentication.

The recently announced iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 will also be able to use Touch ID and Apple Pay for authentication when paying within apps, and Apple claims that, by 2015, owners of older models will be able to use the service, if paired with the NFC enabled Apple Watch and running iOS 8.

In a release on Apple’s website, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice-president of Internet Software and Services, said:  “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.”

A number of banks and retailers have already agreed to offer the service, including American Express, Bank of America and Citi Bank, with the promise Barclaycard, usbank and PNC becoming available later this year.

Earlier this year, the 2014 World Payments Report predicted mobile payments will grow by 60.8% in 2015 as alternative payments services increase.

Recently, celebrity photos were leaked online after Apple’s iCloud service was hacked, causing concerned concern among users over the security of their data.

The Apple Pay mobile wallet claims to keep data safe by ensuring no card or transaction detail is left on the iPhone. Instead a Device Account Number is generated and stored in an encrypted partition on the device. This number is then used when transactions take place.

It has not yet been announced when Apple Pay will be available in the UK and Europe, and mobile wallets are not yet as popular in the UK as other countries.

Zilvinas Bareisis, senior analyst at Celent, said: “So far, mobile payments have failed to realise that promise. There was talk about integrating coupons and loyalty points into one transaction, but that’s hard to pull off and hasn’t happened yet.”

Apple’s quarterly results were better than expected this month, with the firm making a net profit of $8.5bn. Profit rose by more than 13% on 2013, driven largely by strong sales of the iPhone, which accounted for 56% of the quarterly revenue.

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It's a shame that the service was not rolled out to iPhone 5 and 5S/5C users as there's a huge base of those phones still out there. Forcing an upgrade to 6 and 6+ will slow down adoption. I like the idea, but I'm not going to upgrade my phone on just that need.
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