Apple Pay Acceptance Expanding to More Major Retailers
When Apple Pay was first announced in 2014, it was expected to usher in a new age for mobile payments. While it has certainly helped move adoption of the technology forward, it’s hard to argue that it reached the heights it aimed for at its launch. However the built-in smartphone payments feature does keep making in-roads. This week Apple annouced that Pay it will soon be rolling out to more major chains.
In a press release, Apple confirmed that the ultra-popular retailer Target, midwestern grocer Hy-Vee, and convenience store chain Speedway would all be accepting Apple Pay in the near future. On top of that, two fast-food chains — Taco Bell and Jack in the Box — will also be coming onboard. According to Apple the new additions mean that 74 of the top 100 merchants in the United States will now accept the company’s proprietary contactless payments system. It also means that 65% of all retail locations in the country will accept Apple Pay. While the Hy-Vee and Speedway roll-outs are reportedly complete, acceptance at Target will begin “in the coming weeks” while Taco Bell and Jack in the Box will add support ” in the next few months.”
The addition of Target to the Apple Pay roster is notable because the retailer was part of the Merchant Customer Exchange that sought to launch its own mobile payments service called CurrentC once upon a time (Hy-Vee was also a participant in that plan). That platform eventually went into beta in 2015 but was shuttered in 2016. Since then some of the former participants like Walmart have gone on to create their own payment solutions, while others have jumped on the Apple Pay bandwagon. For the record Target also has a mobile wallet option it introduced in 2017, although it operates by cashiers scanning a barcode on the smartphone screen and doesn’t utilize NFC as Apply Pay does.
If rumors — or MacRumors, more accurately — are to be believed, other fairly significant Apple Pay expansion is also set for this fall. According to the site, it looks as though Los Angeles Metro rail and buses will become Apple Pay compatible later this year. This would allow users to pay their transportation fare via an iPhone or Apple Watch instead of requiring a physical TAP card.
In the grand scheme of things, these latest rollouts aren’t likely to boost mobile payment adoption by too much. Still it is a positive sign to see more retailers jumping on board. Moreover, as more Apple Pay and other mobile payment-equipped devices continue to hit the market place, it seems only logical to believe that use would steadily increase as well. If nothing else, at least Apple enthusiasts will soon have a faster way to pay on their next Target run.