Feds give Apple Pay stamp of approval

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Apple Pay is going everywhere in 2015. Photo: Apple
Apple Pay is going everywhere in 2015. Photo: Apple

Apple Pay has already become the top mobile wallet at a number of stores, but now Apple’s about to take on the great outdoors.

During his address at today’s White House cybersecurity summit, Tim Cook said that starting in September you’ll be able to use Apple Pay for transactions with the federal government, including paying fees to get into Yosemite and the other national parks.

Cook’s visit to the summit was a big win for Apple Pay, which Cook says is now supported by more than 2,000 banks, putting us one step closer to the age when your wallet will be a thing of the past. The White House has given Apple Pay its stamp of approval, too, and announced plans to enable it on all federal-payment cards.

The Feds’ stamp of approval means even Social Security and veterans benefits will be paid out on Apple Pay-supported debit cards. According to a report from Bloomberg, the deal also includes the Direct Express payment network and government cards issued through GSA SmartPay, which handles more than 87.4 million transaction worth $26.4 billion each year.

During his talk, Cook emphasized Apple’s unique position to bring better security to customers because its business model is “based on selling the best products in the world, not your personal data.” Apple Pay has been praised by security experts for keeping credit card data anonymous between customers and stores.

Stores such as Whole Foods, McDonald’s and Panera Bread report Apple Pay is the most popular mobile wallet used in transactions at their stores, despite launching at the end of last year. With Apple expected to continue its Apple Pay rollout to new countries this year and add new features, it’s no wonder Cook has already dubbed 2015 the Year of Apple Pay.