Apple’s mobile payments platform to include rewards program

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Details surrounding Apple’s mobile payments platform have been surfacing more frequently leading up to its big media event tomorrow. Now it’s being reported that Apple will incentivize merchants and customers to use its service with a special rewards program.

Bank Innovation, which has been on a tear lately with info on Apple’s mobile payments plans, reports that Apple “will be launching a pilot program to develop partnerships with merchants, including retailers.”

Several big brands have reportedly signed on to support Apple’s platform already, including Nordstrom, CVS, and Walgreens. All of the major U.S. banks and credit card companies are on board as well.

While exact details about Apple’s rewards program remain unknown, the company has been quietly hiring people in the iTunes department to make the project a reality. Apple often boats how it has 800 million credit cards on file through the iTunes Store, and that leverage has probably helped in negotiations with banks over reduced transaction fees.

Today Bank Innovation also reported that Apple will be using tokenization for handling its mobile payments. The process is a more secure way of transmitting financial data between two parties through a unique key that can’t be reused.

The iPhone 6 and iWatch are both expected to come with NFC for handling money transactions with retailers. Tim Cook has said in the past that Touch ID was created with authenticating mobile payments in mind.