Apple Pay Users Can Get Free McDonald’s Fries With Purchase Today

Apple and McDonald's have teamed up to offer free fries every Friday in July.


Today, and on July 19 and July 26, customers can use Apple Pay in the McDonald's app and get free medium fries with a minimum $1 purchase before taxes, excluding any dollar menu items. The promotion is limited to the United States.

This is just one of many Apple Pay promotions that have been offered in recent months.

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Hong Kong’s Octopus Transit Card to Support Apple Pay Later This Year [Updated]

Update - Jul 11: Octopus Cards Limited has now confirmed that customers will be able to use their Octopus cards on their iPhone or Apple Watch for transit and retail payment with Apple Pay later this year. Original story below.




iOS 13 may come with built-in support for Hong Kong's Octopus contactless payment system, if a few lines of code discovered on Apple's servers are any indication.

Tech blog Ata Distance spotted the code snippet in Apple's online JSON-based Apple Pay pass identifier (link now removed), which shows references to Octopus in iOS 13.

The discovery also tallies with specific references to Octopus on Apple Pay in the iOS 13 beta, according to the Japan-focused site.

Octopus is based on the same FeliCa NFC standard used for the Japanese Suica card, and is used by the vast majority of Hong Kong residents for making transit payments and retail transactions.


Originally launched in 1997 as a physical contactless card, the FeliCa-based version made the transition to electronic payment solution when the company unveiled Smart Octopus for Samsung Pay in December 2017.

The exclusive deal with Samsung left Apple Pay users without a way to take advantage Smart Octopus, despite it being technically compatible with iPhone 7 and later models, so today's find should make for good news for those hoping to digitize the popular transit and retail payment card, which should also support Apple's Express Transit mode.

iOS 13 for iPhone is expected to be released in the fall.

Related Roundups: Apple Pay, iOS 13, iPadOS

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JCPenney Has Reinstated Apple Pay in All Retail Locations

JCPenney, a popular department store in the United States, this month said that it has reactivated contactless payments options including Apple Pay in all of its retail stores.

The information was shared by a JCPenney support employee on Twitter, who also said that Apple Pay would be accepted in stores starting June 19th. Given that it's now June 27, Apple Pay should be working in JCPenney retail locations once again.


JCPenney earlier this year eliminated support for Apple Pay and other contactless payment options due to an April 13 deadline from Visa for retiring legacy magnetic stripe contactless technology in favor of EMV technology.
A third-party credit card brand made the requirement for all merchants to actively support EMV contactless functionality effective April 13, retiring the legacy MSD contactless technology in place. Given the resources and lead time associated with meeting the new mandate, JCPenney chose to suspend all contactless payment options until a later date. Customers still have the ability to complete their transactions manually by inserting or swiping their physical credit cards at our point-of-sale terminals in stores, an option employed by the vast majority of JCPenney shoppers.
At the time Apple Pay was pulled from retail stores and the JCPenney app, JCPenney did not provide details on if and when it might be reinstated.


Prior to the end of Apple Pay support, JCPenney had offered the payment option since 2015, when it first rolled out to JCPenney stores.

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Apple Pay Launches in 13 Additional European Countries

Apple Pay is officially going live in 13 additional countries today, including Greece, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia, bringing Apple's mobile payment system to millions more users across Europe.



In Slovakia, for example, users can already load cards onto their Apple Wallet from Boon, Edenred, J&T Banka, Monese, N26, Revolut, Slovenska sporitelna, Tatra banka, and mBank.

It's a similar story in many more countries, based on screenshots posted by Apple users on social media this morning.

Apple Pay now also appears to support a number of popular bank cards across Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Romania, and Slovenia.



Apple Pay has been gradually expanding across Europe and the Middle East, launching in Poland, Norway, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, Austria, and Iceland over the last year.

The mobile payment system allows iPhone 6, 6s, 6, 7, 8, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7 Plus, 8 Plus, SE, X, XS, XS Max, and XR users to make payments for goods and services in retail stores using an NFC chip built into their iPhones.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in March that Apple Pay would be available in more than 40 countries and regions by the end of 2019, although Apple's website has yet to be updated with the full list. Apple Pay first launched in the United States in October 2014. You can view the full list of Apple Pay countries and regions on Apple’s website.

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Tag: Europe

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Apple Pay Launches in The Netherlands With Dutch Bank ING

Apple Pay officially went live in The Netherlands today, with Dutch bank ING leading the charge to bring Apple's digital payment system to debit and credit card users in the country.


With Apple Pay on iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac, ING bank customers with Maestro debit cards in The Netherlands can make purchases with their digital wallet in stores, in apps and on websites.

ING customers can activate Apple Pay in the ING Mobile Banking App and add their debit card to the Wallet. Apple Pay works wherever it is possible to make contactless payments, in web shops and in apps.

According to Apple's regional Apple Pay web page, Apple Pay can be used in The Netherlands with several online and high street retailers including Adidas, ALDI, Amac, ARKET, BCC, Burger King, Capi, cool blue, COS, Decathlon, Douglas, H&M, Jumbo, Lidl, McDonalds, Starbucks, and others.

Apple Pay has been gradually expanding across Europe and the Middle East, launching in Poland, Norway, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, Austria, and Iceland over the last year. Up until today, The Netherlands was one of the most populous countries in Europe that was still awaiting Apple Pay.

(Thanks, Melvin!)


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Supermarket Chain Publix Says It’s Rolling Out Apple Pay Support All Stores

Florida-based supermarket chain Publix, which has over 1200 stores throughout the southeastern United States, has announced (via Reddit) that it is rolling out support for Apple Pay to all of its stores "within the coming weeks."


The news comes via Publix's Twitter account yesterday, responding to a customer who asked about the lack of support for Apple's mobile payments system.


Not all of Publix's Twitter support agents appear to have been briefed on the news, however, as just in the past few hours other responses to customers have simply offered to "share your suggestion" with the customer service or payments team.

There have been scattered reports of Publix testing Apple Pay in a few stores for a while now, but it looks like a full rollout is finally underway.

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Tag: Publix

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Apple Pay Express Transit Coming to London ‘in the Coming Months’

Apple is working closely with London's transport network (TfL) to enable Apple Pay Express Transit, a feature which allows riders to pay their fare without needing to wake or unlock their device, or authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode.

Image credit: TfL

"We are having positive discussions with Apple about enabling express transit on Apple devices on the TfL network," a TfL spokesperson said in a statement given to The Verge. "More information about timing and plans will be available at a future date."

TfL's Twitter account also noted that the company is "working closely with Apple to allow the benefits of this update to be introduced on London’s transport network in the coming months."

Users of London's transport network can already use Apple Pay for ride purchases at Oyster terminals and gates, but they must first authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode. Express Transit would change all that with its tap-and-go system, speeding up entry into subway and train stations in the process.

Apple Pay's Express Transit mode can be used on iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus or later, and Apple Watch Series 1 and 2 or later. Owners of iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR can also use Express Transit in power reserve mode, which is available for up to five hours when an iPhone needs to be charged.

Apple introduced Express Transit in iOS 12.3, which was released earlier this month. London would join a handful of cities with transit systems that support the express Apple Pay feature, including Beijing, Shanghai, Portland, and New York City (from Friday). Express Transit also works for Suica cards in Japan.


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Apple Pay Comes to New York City’s MTA Transit This Friday

Apple Pay is coming to New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority on May 31, reports TechCrunch. The rollout means people will be able to use Apple Pay with the new tap-to-pay fare system on the buses in Staten Island and the 4, 5, and 6 subway lines between Grand Central Station in Manhattan and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Image via TechCrunch

To use Apple Pay on the MTA transit, you'll need an iPhone 6s or SE or later, and have the latest version of iOS (12.3) and watchOS (5.2.1) installed. After you've registered a credit or debit card, you can then take advantage of the new Express Transit NFC feature, which allows you to tap your iPhone or Apple Watch against the fare reader to pay and go.

The system is currently limited to single-ride passes, so users of daily, weekly, or monthly passes aren't able to use Apple Pay yet. However, additional fare options are due to introduced by late 2020, when the MTA expects to have rolled out Apple Pay on all subway lines and buses, according to TechCrunch.


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Transit Riders in Portland Now Able to Add Hop Fastpass to Apple’s Wallet App

As of today, transit users in the Portland-Vancouver area are able to use their iPhones and Apple Watches to ride the TriMet, C-Tran, and Portland Streetcar, according to the Portland Tribune.

A new update to the Hop app for the Portland area allows the Hop Fastpass for these transit services to be added to Apple Wallet, and from Apple Wallet, they can be used in lieu of a physical ticket or card.

To use the new Hop Fastpass option, riders can hold an iPhone or an Apple Watch near the reader on MAX platforms and in buses and streetcars. There is no need to unlock the iPhone or confirm with Face ID or Touch ID with the Apple Pay Express Transit services.

Simply download the Hop Fastpass app from the App Store, choose the "Add a Hop card" option, and follow the on-screen instructions to make a purchase. From there, choose the "add to Apple Wallet" option. This new system will be replacing the existing TriMet app, which is being phased out by the end of 2020.

"Apple Pay transforms everyday experiences and we're thrilled Portland-Vancouver residents will now be able to go quickly through their daily commute with just their iPhone and Apple Watch," Apple Pay VP Jennifer Bailey told the Portland Tribune.

Transit users can continue to earn a day pass or a month pass, purchase Youth and Honored Citizen Fares, and reload card value using Apple Pay payments.

For visitors to Portland or residents who use transit infrequently, there is an option to use Apple Pay Express Transit with a credit or debit card to pay for trips. Using the new service requires iOS 12.3 and watchOS 5.2.1, updates that were released last week.

Express Transit mode Apple Pay features will also be introduced in Chicago and New York later this year, and are already available in Japan and China. You can also use Apple Pay features for transit without Express Transit mode in Canada, China, Russia, Singapore, the UK, and for Chicago's Ventra system.

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Apple Pay Launches in Hungary and Luxembourg

Apple Pay officially launched in Hungary and Luxembourg today, enabling bank card holders there to use Apple's mobile payment system for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch wherever they see the contactless logo.


In Luxembourg, BGL BNP Paribas is currently the sole bank supporting Apple's digital wallet, while OTP Bank is supporting Apple Pay in Hungary. Apple's regional websites for Luxembourg and Hungary both highlight 12 major retail chains that accept the mobile payment system, including Apple resellers in the two countries.

The expansion within Europe follows the launch of Apple Pay in Iceland earlier this month. Elsewhere, regional banks in The Netherlands and Portugal have teased that Apple's contactless payment system is "coming soon."

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in March that Apple Pay would be available in more than 40 countries and regions by the end of 2019, so the rollout is well on track, although Apple's website has yet to be updated with the full list. Apple Pay first launched in the United States in October 2014.


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