Not long from now, mobile users will be able to pay for some Starbucks coffee using their iPhones or Apple Watch. The same goes for KFC’s fried chicken and Chili’s Southwestern egg rolls. This is because Apple Pay, the mobile payment system that Apple developed and launched in October of last year, will be coming to Starbucks, considered the biggest coffee chain in the whole world right now. Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, revealed as much during the Code Mobile conference held in the city of Half Moon Bay in California.
According to Bailey, Starbucks will begin piloting Apple’s mobile payment system in selected stores by the end of this year, and will proceed to rolling out Apple Pay to the coffee chain’s own branches (around 7,500 in number) by 2016. Bailey also added that mobile users can expect to take advantage of Apple Pay in KFC restaurants in the spring season of next year, and Chili’s restaurants some time in 2016 as a pay at the table set up.
Apple Pay’s popularity has steadily increased in the last few months. As revealed by Bailey, around 80 percent of owners of the Apple Watch, Apple’s one and only wearable device actively make use of Apple Pay. For owners of iPhones, Apple Pay continues to be utilized, too. But not too long ago, the public in general were a bit reluctant in accepting the viability of using contactless modes of payments for daily use. The technology has been present for many years now, but it never really took off. That is until Apple unveiled Apple Pay in October 2014. As a service of a brand as popular as the iPhone maker’s, Apple Pay quickly generated some buzz, and within 72 hours after its debut, 1 million credit cards had been used on the system.
Apple Pay is basically based on a technology called near field communications (NFC). In this type of tech, people can pay for items they purchased simply by waving their iPhones or Apple Watch devices at an NFC enabled point of sale (POS) system. Apple Pay officially launched last year with around 500 financial institution partners and 220,000 merchants in the United States. As of the summer of this year, over 2,500 banks had supported Apple Pay, and over 1 million stores already accepting payments via Apple’s system. And by next year, Apple will have added the world’s most popular coffee chain in their impressive list of partners.
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