Apple has unveiled Apple Pay, a new mobile payments tool that could significantly impact the way consumers transact both in-person and digitally. The new service was outlined as part of a broader demonstration of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both of which were introduced at Apple’s event in Cupertino, California, on 9th September.
Apple Pay is integrated with existing infrastructure, including Secure Element and Touch ID, while the iPhone 6 introduces near-field communication (NFC) functionality, enabling tap-and-go payments for users of the device. Additionally, Apple has partnered with a cluster of well-known businesses to deploy the infrastructure for the payments feature, which includes McDonald’s, Whole Foods and Disney.
When launched, Apple Pay will build a bridge between the company’s consumer technology and the traditional payments network. VISA, American Express and MasterCard, the world’s biggest credit card service providers, have signed up, and the ‘Big Six’ American – Citi, Bank of America, Capital One, Wells Fargo, Chase and Barclays, among others – are also onboard. As CEO Cook explained, Apple is seeking to invigorate what is essentially decades-old technology through the use of Apple Pay.
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However, the question remains: What impact will the announcement have on bitcoin and digital currency?
Apple’s presentation didn’t contain any new information related to bitcoin, a subject the company has been silent on since it lifted its ban on bitcoin apps in June. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted during his presentation that the developer API for Apple Pay would be released, an announcement that presents a potential avenue for developers to create bitcoin-centric apps using the tool.
Although the gadget-centric tech press likes to focus on physical products, Apple’s new mobile payments service is just as interesting, albeit from a different angle. What sets Apple Pay apart from the competition is the scale and comprehensiveness of Apple’s operation.
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The Apple event drew broad interest from around the technology industry, as well as fans of the Cupertino-based company’s products and services. The iPhone 6 launch also proved to be a popular event, even temporarily overloading the event’s official livestream.
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