Apple Pay Now Accepts Credit Cards That Cover 90% Of U.S. Purchase Volume

By Amit Chowdhry ● Dec 16, 2014

Today Apple said that its digital wallet platform Apple Pay is now accepting credit cards that account for 90% of purchases in the U.S. since many banks signed up in the last few weeks.

Apple Pay lets you pay for goods and services through the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air (2nd generation) and iPad mini (3rd generation).

And Apple Pay is convenient because you do not have to swipe the magnetic strip of your debit or credit card at payment terminals. Instead, you just have to wave your mobile device in front of the payment terminal.

USAA, Barclaycard, SunTrust, TD Bank North America, Associated Bank, Black Hills Federal Credit Union, First Tennessee Bank, WesBanco, Idaho Central Credit Union and Commerce Bank are some of the banks that recently signed up for Apple Pay. Large chains like Staples, Winn-Dixie, and Albertsons now accept Apple Pay.

Whole Foods said that it processed over 150,000 Apple Pay transactions in its stores several days after the digital wallet service launched. And McDonald’s pointed out that Apple Pay accounted for more than 50% of its tap-to-pay transactions last month.

Apple Pay communicates with point-of-sales systems using near field communication (NFC) antennas. And it works with payment terminals like Visa’s payWave, Mastercard’s PayPass and American Express‘ ExpressPay. Apple Pay lets users sign into their accounts using their fingerprints via Touch ID. If a user loses their iPhone, then they can disable Apple Pay using the “Find My iPhone” service.

Several Retailers Are Resisting Apple Pay

A few weeks ago, I wrote about CVS and Rite Aid blocking Apple PayBest Buy and Walmart also said that they are not accepting Apple Pay. Some of these retailers will likely start using CurrentC in 2015, which is a digital payment service that utilizes QR codes.

Apple Pay Using The Apple Watch

In a few months, Apple will be releasing the Apple Watch. When the Apple Watch launches, it can be paired with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C to make payments through Apple Pay. According to CultOfMac, the Apple Watch has a sensor on the back to distinguish the owner of the device from other people that put it on. This prevents thieves from using your Apple Watch to pay for items using your Apple Pay account. The Apple Watch does not have Touch ID, but users will be required to enter a code to start using it. When the Apple Watch is removed, Apple Pay will be disabled.

Apple Pay Adoption

“Retailers and payment companies see Apple Pay as the implementation that has the best chance at mass consumer adoption, which has eluded prior attempts,” said Patrick Moorhead, president of Moor Insights & Strategy, in an interview with The New York Times. “They believe it will solve many of the problems they had before with electronic payments.”

Apple Pay is still in its infancy, but its adoption will continuously grow as consumers upgrade their iPhones. Forrester analyst Denée Carrington said that she is expecting Apple Pay to hit $34 billion in e-commerce volume in the U.S. by 2019. And it is only a matter of time until Apple accepts all of the credit cards that cover 100% of the U.S. purchase volume.