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Reports: some Best Buy stores already supporting Apple Pay
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MacNN Staff
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Sep 17, 2015, 04:20 PM
Best Buy stores around the US are already starting to support Apple Pay and other such systems as they upgrade point-of-sale terminals to NFC-compatible devices that work with Apple's mobile payment technology even if it is not specifically implemented, according to user reports. Transactions using Apple Pay are working at some California Best Buy stores, with rival NFC-based systems like Android Pay also working, according to reports of successful transactions.

The reports are unsurprising, as there are widespread reports across the US and Canada from MacNN readers that most NFC-compatible terminals that support "contactless" credit and debit card systems already also work with Apple Pay, provided the user has pre-registered their card with a supporting bank. The Apple Pay system secures the transaction completely away from the merchant, meaning that stores would have to disable the near-field communications functions of advanced terminals in order to prevent systems like Apple Pay from working automatically. Support from merchants comes more from training employees to help customers use mobile payment systems with the terminals than from implicitly supporting Apple Pay directly.

Best Buy, which had been an original supporting partner in a rival system (yet to be implemented) called CurrentC and which originally declined to support Apple Pay, announced a reversal on support for NFC mobile payment systems last April, likely due to the expiration of a contractual barring of rival systems imposed by CurrentC parent company MCX for a period of time that appears to have expired in August. Originally seen as a threat to Apple Pay acceptance, the company was unable to implement a working system before the exclusivity period ended, and members who plan on using CurrentC can now apparently also support other systems, which will benefit consumers.

The reports come on the heels of news that Discover, the last major credit-card issuer to hold out, has decided to support Apple Pay registration as well, and indeed is offering users a limited-time 10 percent cash-back option to encourage use of the technology. Rumors abound that Apple Pay will also see further international expansion in the near future, with Canada as a leading candidate to offer Apple Pay ahead of the main Christmas buying season. Reports say Canadian banks will begin allowing registration of cards within the next two months, while merchants in the country are already able to take US-based cards using Apple Pay currently at most sales terminals, which were upgraded to support both contactless cards and EMV "chip-and-PIN" cards years ago.

In a related note, the head of Apple's Apple Pay team, Vice President Jennifer Bailey, is on tap to speak at the Code/Mobile conference beginning October 7, which focuses on both mobile payments and technology in the home and automotive industries -- all of which Apple has an important or market-leading stake in. Bailey was last seen at the WWDC conference in June that heralded the expansion of Apple Pay to the UK, and Bailey could use the appearance to announce any new Apple Pay expansions. The company is said to be in negotiations with China along with other countries.
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Sep 17, 2015, 06:43 PM
FWIW, Staples has Apple Pay working in my area. It's interesting that in many places, they don't have the chip card reader aspect working, but they do have the Apple Pay working...
Mr. Strat
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Sep 17, 2015, 07:19 PM
The local Best Buy can't even scan their barcode from Passbook.
Charles Martin
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Sep 18, 2015, 12:04 PM
Being in Vancouver this week, I'm using Apple Pay all over the place thanks to having a US-based card. When they switch it on for Canadian card use, adoption will be swift and huge here, as its set up to work nearly everywhere - some 70 percent of merchants can accept contactless/NFC payments in Canada.
Charles Martin
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