Apple announced a new payment solution at its big iPhone event on Tuesday. It's called Apple Pay, and enables iPhone users to pay for goods and services both online and off.
The feature, available on the new iPhone models, uses NFC, which is at the top of the iPhone, and it stores payment information and uses Passbook. Of course data is encrypted. You can use the card you already use for iTunes, and you can even take a picture of a credit card and add it, not unlike you would do with a check deposit in a bank app.
Card numbers aren't given to stores. Apple Pay utilizes a one-time payment number and dynamic security code. If you lose your device, you can suspend payments.
The company put a big emphasis on privacy, saying they don't know how much you paid for items, or what you bought, or where you bought it.
They've got American Express, MasterCard and Visa on board in the U.S., and are working with Citi, Starbucks, Bank of America, Capital One, Wells Fargo, and Chase.
They've also got 220,000 retail locations on board including Macy's, Bloomingdales, Walgreens, Subway, McDonald's, Duane Reade, Whole Foods, Staples, Disney, PetCo, Toys R Us, Panera, etc.
Features for online payments include one-touch checkout, no card number entry, no address typing, and no card info shared with merchants. Services like Groupon, Uber, MLB, and OpenTable are on board for this as well.
Apple Pay works with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and the company is working to get the feature in other countries.
Note: Some early reports had the number at "22,000 retailers," but Apple says right on its site that it's "220,000 locations," which seems far more realistic. This article has been updated to reflect that.
Image via Apple