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…

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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

Apple Pay setup detailed & retailers begin training as service launches at Apple HQ

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The launch of Apple Pay, Apple’s NFC and Touch ID-based mobile payment solution, is upon us. Apple has begun preparing for the launch by kicking off Apple Pay training programs for its own group of retail store employees and by working with retailers to prepare for the debut later this month. The training materials, shared by a reliable source, for the Apple Pay launch at Apple retail stores have also detailed some new specifics regarding the Apple Pay setup and transaction processes both on customer iPhones and in Apple retail stores…

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Apple developing iOS 8.1, 8.2, & 8.3 in shift for 2015 launches

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Starting with iOS 5 in 2011, Apple has released a major new iOS version each fall and a notable follow-up update early in the following year. For example, iOS 6 launched in September 2012 and was updated to iOS 6.1 in January, and iOS 7, which was launched in September 2013, was updated to iOS 7.1 with CarPlay and interface improvements in March 2014. But starting with the recently released iOS 8, it appears that Apple has a different development schedule for 2015 and perhaps beyond. According to sources, Apple is already hard at work on three major follow-up versions to iOS 8: iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3.

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We’ve confirmed that these major new versions are in development via two means. First, a developer of a major hardware-connected iOS application has shared with us their analytics, and this data indicates that all three versions are in testing by Apple employees in or around Cupertino, California. Second, and much closer to home, our own Google Analytics for 9to5Mac.com show that iOS users are visiting our website via iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3 devices. iOS 8.1 hits to 9to5Mac.com started appearing even months before iOS 8.0 launched, but 8.2 and 8.3 visits only started picking up following iOS 8’s release in mid-September.

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While Apple works on several iOS features and enhancements over the course of several years, it typically only begins wholly testing major new releases close to the ship dates of the preceding release. Apple working on three significant follow-ups to iOS 8 is a shift from the usual development cycle, one which would normally indicate Apple to be working on just iOS 8.1 as well as iOS 9.0. It’s possible that iOS 9 is also in the works, and of course Apple is always working on nominal bug fix (x.x.1 or .2 or .3) updates, but the fact that 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 are all in simultaneous development raises some interesting possibilities:

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Apple joins secure chip standards and NFC group GlobalPlatform ahead of Apple Pay release

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Ahead of Apple’s entry into the mobile payment space next month with the release of Apple Pay for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, Apple has joined the GlobalPlatform, the non-profit association focused on standards for secure chip technology across various industries, as a full member.

Existing members of GlobalPlatform include various Apple partners and competitors alike with carriers AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon being members as well as handset makers Samsung and BlackBerry. More importantly, Apple Pay partners American Express, MasterCard, and Visa are also members; Discover, which is not yet an Apple Pay partner but has said it is discussions over participation with Apple, is also a member. Read more

Apple Pay may mean the end of physical bank cards within 2-3 years, argues Moven CEO

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While we’d all expected plastic bank cards to be replaced by apps eventually, the CEO of mobile banking startup Moven is suggesting that Apple’s backing could mean the end of physical bank cards within 2-3 years.

The additional sweetners here are three fold. Firstly, tokenization will avoid much of the type of breaches we’ve seen at Target and Home Depot because the token is only a one-time use thing. Secondly, the move to tokens and the combination of biometrics, etc allow for the emergence of a ‘cardholder present’ approach to interchange rates that will potentially give mobile payments a competitive merchant rate. Lastly, the US might effectively jump straight from magstripe to mobile, especially if issuers can figure out how to reduce the cost of card replacement by moving straight to mobile SE and tokens …

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Apple and Disney Stores upgrading iBeacons and NFC scanners ahead of iPhone 6 launch

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Apple and longtime partner Disney this week are bolstering their stores with upgraded versions of iBeacon sensors and NFC readers, according to sources. Apple Stores have had iBeacons stationed throughout showroom floors for several months as a way to pinpoint exactly where a customer is within the store. This allows Apple to better serve customers by providing relevant sales information to their iPhones and iPads while in the store. The upgrades happening this week within Apple Stores place several new Gimbal Series 20 Proximity Beacons across stores to make location tracking within the store even more accurate.

In addition to providing relevant information for the Apple Store app, iBeacons can be useful for NFC mobile payment technologies as a form of authentication. If Apple knows where a customer is in the store to a precise degree, it can ensure that is it wirelessly connecting to the correct iPhone for mobile payments. As has been widely reported, the new iPhone 6 and upcoming Apple wearable device will include new wireless sensors (including a near field communication chipset) to conduct mobile payments with credit cards stored in an upgraded Passbook application.

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NYT: iWatch to feature flexible display panel, wireless charging, iPhone 6 to have ‘one handed mode’

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The New York Times is weighing in on Apple’s imminent iPhone event, corroborating past information as well as adding some new tidbits about Apple’s newest iPhones (the ‘iPhone 6′) and its brand new wearable (dubbed ‘iWatch’).

Most interestingly, it says that the iWatch will feature a flexible display. Assumedly, this will allow the product to morph to fit comfortably on user’s arms. KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo predicted Apple’s use of a flexible panel in July. The screen is protected by sapphire glass. As 9to5Mac has reported countless times, the device will feature health and fitness tracking capabilities, for things like footsteps and heart rate. The report claims Apple has “put an enormous amount of time and money” to make the sensors track “much more accurately than existing fitness devices”.

In terms of software, the device will rely on HealthKit for health tracking and Handoff, one of Apple’s iOS 8 continuity features, to seamlessly share content between devices. Handoff could be used for sharing SMS texts between the phone and the watch, for instance. 9to5Mac discussed how Handoff might interact with Apple’s wearable a couple of months ago.

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