Apple officially launched a TouchID & NFC-based mobile wallet service called Apple Pay that will allow users on newly launched iPhones to buy physical goods and services in the United States. The service is limited to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users only, however Apple mentions that users on older iPhones like iPhone 5, 5c and 5s will be able to make use of this service through the newly launched Apple Watch that is expected to go on sale early next year. Note that Apple had earlier hinted at an expanded mobile payments strategy for its capacitive fingerprint sensor Touch ID and had opened up the TouchID API to third party developers in June this year. Apple had also filed a patent for a touchless e-wallet in January this year while reportedly laying groundwork for an expanded mobile payment service that includes facilitating payments of physical goods and services from its devices in January this year. Bank tie-ups: Apple mentions that users can either use the existing credit card present on their iTunes account to the Passbook or add a new credit card by capturing it with the iPhone camera. The service currently supports credit and debit cards from three major payment networks Amex, MasterCard, and Visa issued by six US banks including Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo that apparently represent 83% of the credit card purchase volume in the country. Note that Apple probably has the one of the largest, if not the largest active credit card base in the world right now, with most of its 800 million iTunes accounts having a credit…
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