Apple’s mission to replace your boring leather wallet with a digital one is just getting started. At WWDC, Apple’s Jennifer Bailey announced several new Apple Pay features and partners. She also confirmed that Apple Pay will hit the U.K. in July.
Here’s everything you need to know about the latest developments in Apple’s mobile payments ecosystem.
Square Pay reader brings Apple Pay to small businesses
So far, Apple Pay has mainly been avaiable at big box retailers like Panera Bread, Staples, and Macy’s, but now it’s finally coming to small businesses. This fall, Square plans to introduce a new reader that will allow small businesses that use it’s point-of-sale system to accept payments from Apple Pay users, as well as Chip and PIN cards. Anyone with an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus will be able to use tap-to-pay at small businesses that buy the accessory.
The Square reader will be available in the fall, and small business owners can sign up to get one right now on Square’s website. The best part about the reader is that it’s entirely free.
1 million stores will accept Apple Pay by July
It’s no secret that Apple is aggressively courting retailers to encorage them to sign up for Apple Pay. When the service first launched, there were only a few hundred thousand locations that accepted NFC payments, and therefore Apple Pay. Now, Apple says it’s on track to surpass 1 million Apple Pay locations by July. The quick ramp up also extends to apps, which have also started flocking to Apple Pay.
According to Apple, app makers report a 2-times increase in checkout rates within their apps. Indeed, many of the most popular shopping apps support Apple Pay, and the quick buy with Apple Pay button has sped up the check out process on mobile devices — no more entering your card info every time you buy something.
Apple aims to capitalize on that momentum with a new “buyable” item button in Pinterest. Any item on Pinterest with a “buyable” button can be purchased with Apple Pay. Only those with iOS devices can take advantage of this feature, so Android users will be left out of the action. Seeing as Pinterest is often used as a wish list of things its users would like to buy, adding a “Buy with Apple Pay” button to the app experience should boost purchases inspired by Pinterest boards.
Apple Pay heads to the U.K.
After much ado, Apple finally announced that the second country to get Apple Pay will be the United Kingdom. The Brits and their countrymen will get the mobile payment service in July, and the tap-to-pay function will work in 250,000 locations in U.K. Many big retailers and popular shops will work with Apple Pay, including Starbucks locations. More locations are sure to be added soon.
However, one of the coolest thing Brits will get to do with Apple Pay is pay for fares on the London transit system. Contactless payments have yet to come to most U.S. cities with mass transit systems, so this capability is a London exclusive.
Rewards cards finally come to Apple Pay
Although Apple Pay has long supported the vast majority of credit and debit cards, it hasn’t supported rewards cards — until now. Rewards cards are coming to Apple Pay, so you’ll be able to get your rewards every time you shop at Dunkin’ Donuts, Walgreens, Panera Bread, and more. Apple Pay will automatically bring up the right rewards card when you pay with the service, so you don’t have to rifle around for the right card in your app.
Passbook is rebranded as Wallet
Apple decided to rebrand the Passbook app as Wallet with iOS 9, so all your credit, debit, and rewards cards will all be kept in the app. Your boarding passes, tickets, and so on will also sit in the Wallet app.