Staples turns on Apple Pay support at its retail stores ahead of Black Friday

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Staples shared in an announcement today that it is now accepting Apple Pay transactions at its “over 1,200 stores” in the United States for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users. Apple Pay, of course, will also be available for iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s users starting next year when paired with the upcoming Apple Watch. Apple included Staples in its list of retail partners when announcing its secure mobile payment service, although Apple noted that support would be “coming later this year” from the retailer as it was available in time for last month’s launch. Read more

Starwood Hotels begins rollout of iPhone/Apple Watch virtual room keys, Hilton to follow (Video)

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Starwood Hotels has officially launched its SPG Keyless service, allowing guests to use their iPhone (and, in the Spring, Apple Watch) to unlock their hotel doors, bypassing the front desk. The boutique hotel group first announced the project back in January.

1. After booking a reservation at a keyless hotel, SPG members are invited to opt-in to SPG Keyless and register their phone through the SPG App.

2. Approximately 24 hours before arrival, the guest receives his/her room number and Bluetooth key via the app.

3. Upon arrival at the hotel, the guest can completely bypass the front desk (where available) and go directly to his/her room.

4. Then, after ensuring his/her Bluetooth is enabled, the guest simply opens the SPG App, taps the smartphone on the door lock, waits for the green light and enters the room.

The service goes live today at three Starwood brands: Aloft, Element and The W. Read more

MCX: Merchants accepting both CurrentC and Apple Pay ‘entirely possible’ in the future

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Earlier this week, retailers CVS and Rite Aid blocked NFC payments at their stores following the launch of Apple Pay because of their existing commitment to MCX’s CurrentC platform. Nevertheless, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson assures that merchants accepting both CurrentC and Apple Pay “could be entirely possible” in the future.

The blockade has ignited somewhat of a controversy between Apple Pay and MCX, only worsened by the fact that it was confirmed that CurrentC suffered a security breach earlier this morning. MCX, or Merchant Customer Exchange, consists of a number of high-profile retailers that grouped together to work on their own CurrentC contactless payments platform. Read more

MCX responds to Apple Pay blocking controversy with unconvincing ‘assurances’

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MCX, the retailer consortium behind the CurrentC mobile payment system, has responded to the controversy over its members being required to block Apple Pay or face fines with some unconvincing ‘assurances.’

The first sign of trouble between MCX and Apple Pay was when CVS disabled NFC functionality from its payment terminals. When Rite Aid joined in, consumers responded by threatening to boycott MCX members.

In a blog post which MCX says is designed to “set the record straight,” it appears to do anything but …  Read more

Leading NFC terminal maker Verifone encourages merchants to enable Apple Pay

If you’ve ever made a contactless credit card payment in a retail store, you’ve likely run into a VeriFone NFC-terminal: recent estimates put it at approximately 60% global market share for EMV payment terminals, for example. Today, the company is launching a new campaign along with payment processing company Vantiv that encourages Verifone’s massive network of clients to upgrade their terminals and get ready for Apple Pay: Read more

Apple in talks to expand NFC in iPhone 6 beyond Apple Pay, replace building keycards and transit tickets

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The Information is reporting that Apple is actively scouting out partnerships to increase the utility of the NFC chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Right now, the chip can only be used for payments through Apple Pay as the API is not available to third-party developers.

The Information says that the company is talking to potential partners about using the technology for things like building security, public transit tickets and more. The report names that Apple has already been in talks with HID Global and Cubic, who make electronic ‘keycard’ secure building access and transit fare systems.

The Apple representatives have talked to technology providers like HID Global and Cubic, which enable secure access to buildings and transit fare systems, respectively, said people briefed on the discussions. Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment about any discussions with Apple, but executives there discussed how they could integrate their systems with the iPhone.

In fact, Apple has already announced a similar partnership with Starwood Hotels, where Apple users can replace hotel keycards with their Apple Watch, although this uses Bluetooth rather than NFC technology.

Read more

Apple Pay already works abroad on supported NFC terminals w/ US-based cards

Following yesterday’s launch of Apple Pay through participating card issuers, banks and retailers in the US, some users have discovered that the payment service is also already being accepted through some retailers abroad. 9to5Mac readers report using Apple Pay loaded with a US-based credit card at retailers in Australia and Canada… Read more

How to set up Apple Pay (Video)

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Apple has released iOS 8.1 and with that, we have Apple Pay support. This is Apple’s new mobile payment platform that takes advantage of the NFC capabilities of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. This will allow you to make purchases in stores that support Apple Pay using supported cards from a growing list of banks. Setting up Apple Pay is very simple and we’ve put together a quick tutorial to walk you through the process…

Read more

As Apple Pay launches, Eddy Cue says “a lot of work to do,” predicts slow retail take-up

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On the day that Apple Pay goes live, SVP Eddy Cue has told the WSJ that the company “has a lot of work to do” on the service, suggesting that initial take-up may be slow – with in-app purchases making up the largest share of transactions in the short-term.

We’re trying to do something that I think is a game changer and it requires a lot of people to play together. There’s a lot to do here and we have a lot of work to do, but it should be huge.

Although the list of retailers who have committed to Apple Pay looks impressive, it is far from comprehensive, with some big names missing – including the largest retailer in the US, Wal-Mart …  Read more

Internal Panera Bread memo claims Apple Pay will launch on October 20

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An internal memo sent to Panera Bread employees and acquired by 9to5Mac has revealed that Apple will launch its mobile payment platform on Monday, October 20th. Panera Bread was listed as one of the initial launch partners for Apple Pay during its introduction last month.

An online training course for employees has been published that includes instructions for the VeriFone readers, including the Apple Pay functions. Stores that don’t have the appropriate hardware to support the technology will receive further information on the 20th about how the company plans to handle payments those locations. Read more