Mobile Commerce

Apple Pay Nearing Triple Digit Milestone

For Apple Pay, it’s 98 and counting. Apple confirmed on Tuesday (March 3) that 17 more financial institutions have gone live with full Apple Pay support in the past two weeks, bringing the total just shy of the century mark, 9to5 Mac reported.

To be clear, that’s not the number of banks and credit unions that have signed contracts to support Apple Pay — just the ones that have completed the transition. At least 500 more Visa card issuers — just Visa, not MasterCard — are in the process of setting up the necessary new technology, including tokenization for Apple Pay, Visa CEO Charlie Scharf told analysts during an earnings call in January.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously said that more than 2,000 financial institutions have signed up for mobile payments system.

The March crop so far includes just one bank — Bank of Hawaii, which says on its website that Apple Pay will be available soon for “select Bank of Hawaii debit cards” — as well as 16 credit unions: Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union; American Airlines Credit Union; Baxter Credit Union; CFE Federal Credit Union; Commonwealth Credit Union; Foothill Credit Union; Founders Federal Credit Union; IBM Southeast Employees Federal Credit Union; Lister Hill Credit Union; PenFed Credit Union; Royal Credit Union; Schools First Federal Credit Union; Spokane Teachers Federal Credit Union; Telhio Credit Union; University First Federal Credit Union; West Community Credit Union.

Credit unions make up more than half of the financial institutions that have gone live with Apple Pay so far.

In the past month, Apple Pay also got the nod as a standard for roughly 9 million Federal payment cards, including debit card accounts used for distributing Social Security and Veterans benefits. A Feb. 13 White House announcement said that both cards used for distributing federal benefits and those used for government employee expenses would support Apple Pay, though no date for those cards to go live was announced. Apple Pay will also be available for many transactions with the federal government, such as at national parks, starting in September.

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