| Cult of Mac

Apple Pay gets close to letting you chop up your credit cards

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Apple Pay gets close to letting you chop up your credit cards
You might be surprised how many businesses let you pay with your iPhone.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

After a mishap, I recently had to go on vacation without a credit card. I was ready with cash but it never mattered – to my surprise, wireless payments and Apple Pay let my iPhone make all the purchases I needed.

It’s clear we’re really not far away from physical credit cards becoming obsolete. That’ll be one less hassle in our lives.

EU may soon force Apple to open iPhone NFC to other payment services

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Apple Pay heads south of the border, down Mexico way
iPhone users might soon be able to use tap-to-pay with non-Apple payment systems. In the EU, anyway.
Photo: Apple

The European Union reportedly plans to accuse Apple of violating the law by limiting access to the iPhone’s NFC capabilities to the company’s own payment system. The goal is to give rival systems like PayPal access to the iPhone’s convenient tap-to-pay function.

Apple claims the limitation is there to protect users’ financial information. The EU calls it anticompetitive.

Cupertino offers deals to ‘Make Mom’s day with Apple Pay’

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Do Mother's Day with Apple Pay this year.
Do Mother's Day with Apple Pay this year.
Photo: Apple

As you may have nervously noted, given past lapses (You? Never!), Mother’s Day is fast approaching. It falls on Sunday, May 8. To help you out, Apple sent out a series of Apple Pay promotions Wednesday that’ll save you a few bucks on thoughtful gifts for mom.

Discounts are outlined below. And in case you missed it, Apple also put out a gift guide for the occasion.

Celebrate Earth Day the Apple Pay way, auto-donating $1 at a time

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Use Apple Pay to donate to a good cause this year around Earth Day.
Use Apple Pay to donate to a good cause this year around Earth Day.
Photo: Apple

If you care about environmental causes, Apple just gave you a pretty painless way to give. Starting Thursday and running through Earth Day on April 22, Apple will donate $1 to the World Wildlife Fund for every Apple Pay transaction in Apple stores, on the store app or on Apple.com.

So start buying stuff and join the fight to save the planet’s beleaguered species.

Apple wants to handle some of its own financial services

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Apple’s financial results were all the company could ask for.
Apple supposedly wants to reduce the financial services it outsources.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Rather than letting existing financial companies handle all its payment processing, Apple wants to bring some of it in-house, according to an unconfirmed report. And the Mac-maker would also like to take on a range of other related services itself.

The goal is to reduce the amount of money Apple has to pay outside companies for financial services.

Apple’s new Tap to Pay feature lets iPhone accept contactless payments

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iPhone Tap to Pay
It will be available only in the U.S. initially.
Photo: Apple

Apple will give iPhone the ability to accept contactless payments without additional hardware later this year, the company confirmed Tuesday.

The feature, which Apple calls “Tap to Pay,” initially will be available to merchants in the United States who use a “partner-enabled iOS app.” The company says Tap to Pay will “empower millions” to use their iPhones to seamlessly accept payments.

iPhone could accept NFC credit card payments without additional hardware

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iPhone credit card payments
Worrying news for companies like Square.
Mockup: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple is working to give iPhone the ability to accept contactless credit card payments over NFC without the need for additional hardware “in the coming months,” according to a new report.

You currently need a third-party credit card reader, like those made by Square, to use iPhone as a payment terminal. However, since iPhone 6 made it debut in 2014, Apple’s smartphone has been packing the NFC technology that’s needed.