Apple Pay may not have been around all that long, but it's clear to even casual observers that it's made a lot of headway with businesses in a very short time frame. A new update has shown the payment platform expanding to 10 new retailers, not only opening up the total numbers, but also the variety of retailer classes that will take the payment system.
Several new vendors have been added, including the Acme supermarket chain, Davis Food & Drug, Firehouse Subs, Gamestop, and T-Mobile, as well as Luby's and Rubio's locations. This allows Apple (News - Alert) Pay holders to buy a wide variety of different products, and improves Apple Pay's prospects for the long term. Apple Pay also added a new basketball arena to its roster, bringing the total at last report to three. The new addition is the Phoenix Suns' US Airways Center, which joins Oracle (News - Alert) Arena and Amway Center in offering services with Apple Pay. Reports even suggest that another 13 retailers—including two movie theater chains, Regal Cinemas and Carmike Cinemas—are set to join in the fray fairly soon.
Using Apple Pay is said to be a comparatively easy endeavor, with anyone with an iPhone (News - Alert) 6 or iPhone 6 Plus able to use near-field communications (NFC) technology to securely store and transmit credit or debit card information. Then all one need do is proceed to the nearest vendor and use the iPhone in question as what amounts to a proxy for the card in question.
This is good news for Apple Pay, of course, and the more vendors it can add the better, as an increased number of vendors will make the payment system more valuable to the users. But Apple Pay isn't out of the woods yet. Its rapid adoption rate notwithstanding, it still has some very clear competitors eager for access to the same market. Among these are Google (News - Alert), which recently unveiled its Android Pay system, and embarked on a partnership with Softcard back in February. Samsung, has its Samsung Pay system loaded onto its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge devices as part of its purchase of LoopPay. Perhaps the most unnerving competitor, though, is CurrentC, the official system being developed by the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). It comes with a built-in market, since the MCX is comprised entirely of retailers.
While there's no doubt that Apple Pay has already made quite a bit of headway with a potential user base that's substantial, as well as brought in a number of retailers covering just about every segment of retailing, it's equally clear that this won't be a walkover for Apple. There are too many big names emerging in the field, backed up by plenty of resources and an eagerness to carve out a slice of this growing market. Only time will tell just which payment system comes out on top, or if several can live together in the comparative harmony of a market space, but it's clear that Apple Pay is eagerly pushing its way to the top.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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