Mobile Commerce

Apple Pay Secures Another Credit Union Partner

Apple Pay has linked with another credit union, offering the payments platform to members shopping at participating stores.

As reported in a Monday (Aug. 10) release, Bellco — the credit union based in Colorado with 21 branches, more than 250,000 members and as much as $2.9 billion in assets — said it would begin to accept Apple Pay this week. Bellco accounts can be utilized through the gamut of Apple consumer electronics, ranging from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to the iPad.

In the release announcing the partnership, Doug Ferraro, who serves as chief executive officer of Bellco Credit Union, stated: “Not only is Apple Pay simple and convenient, but it also adds a layer of privacy and security to making digital or in-store payments.”

The companies said on Monday that instead of using Bellco credit or debit card numbers to make a payment — and in an effort to bolster security — Apple Pay assigns the Bellco customers a unique, encrypted Device Account Number. Under that practice, credit and debit card numbers are not in fact stored on devices or on Apple’s servers.

The Device Account Number, augmented by a transaction-specific dynamic security code, helps process the payment between the buyer and the seller. Nobody on the “seller” side of the transaction, including the cashier, sees the Bellco/Apple Pay user’s name, code or card number.

The Bellco partnership debuting this week is among the latest incremental inroads made by Apple into the financial institutional arena. As had been reported late last month, the company added roughly three dozen new U.S.-based financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, which brings the total tally of “participating banks” to more than 375 entities.

Apple’s smartphone-based payments service, newly available in international locations, has been available in the United States since Oct. 2014.

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