Publix Rolling Out Apple Pay at Checkout

Publix has indicated that it is rolling out support for contactless payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay, as noted by the blog Appleosophy.


The supermarket chain informed employees of this news in a bulletin shared on Reddit, noting that its payment terminals will be updated with the contactless payments symbol where accepted. Publix has over 1,200 stores in the Southeastern U.S., with nearly two thirds of those locations in Florida, but it is unclear how many will accept Apple Pay.

Apple Pay support arrives at an opportune time, allowing shoppers to avoid using the frequently touched PIN pad when paying for groceries.
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Tag: Publix

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Opera Browser Now Lets U.S. Users Buy Bitcoin With Apple Pay

Opera has announced that users of its mobile and desktop apps can now buy cryptocurrency through the browser using Apple Pay.


Opera was the first browser to include a built-in crypto wallet across its iOS and Mac browsers, and was one of the first to protect users against disguised online cryptocurrency mining, or "cryptojacking."

In partnership with Wyre, a US cryptocurrency-brokerage firm, the Norwegian company is now letting Opera users in the U.S. purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum using a debit card or ‌Apple Pay‌.

Charles Hamel, head of crypto at Opera browsers, explained how this integration supports Opera's long-term vision of making blockchain technology relevant beyond speculation:
"Allowing our users to easily load cryptocurrency into their browser's digital wallet is very powerful, as it connects the Web to a global internet-native payment network.

"In the past, obtaining cryptocurrencies was a cumbersome process that took hours or even days. When you compare it with this seamless solution, which takes less than 30 seconds, it really is a gamechanger," added Hamel.
Easy crypto top ups are available in iOS browser Opera Touch as well as in the crypto wallet available in its desktop browser. As for users outside the U.S., Opera says it plans to introduce a similar crypto-purchasing feature to more countries "very soon."


Opera Touch is available for iPhone and iPad in several languages and can be downloaded directly from the App Store. [Direct Link] The Opera browser for Mac Desktop is a free download available on the Opera website.
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Apple Pay Could Soon Expand to Mexico

Apple Pay could soon be available in Mexico, based on reports from iPhone users in Mexico who have been able to add their Banregio cards to the Wallet app.


One user on Twitter whose tweet was shared by 9to5Mac was able to add his Banregio card to the Wallet app after setting his region to the United States. The card was able to be successfully added, and there was text included for verification purposes, but the verification process did not work as ‌Apple Pay‌ has not officially launched in the country.

Cards from banks other than Banregio were not able to be added to the Wallet app on the ‌iPhone‌, suggesting ‌Apple Pay‌ in Mexico may be limited to Banregio at launch.

When ‌Apple Pay‌ launches in Mexico, it will be the second country in Latin America to support the payments service. Apple launched ‌Apple Pay‌ in Brazil in 2018, but has not expanded it to other Latin America countries. ‌Apple Pay‌ has also been available in the United States and Canada for years.

Apple maintains a complete list of the countries where ‌Apple Pay‌ is available on its support site, and we have a detailed Apple Pay roundup with everything you need to know about Apple's payments service.

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Apple Pay Could Account for 10 Percent of Global Card Transactions by 2025 and Even Rival PayPal

Apple Pay could account for 10 percent of global card transactions by 2025 and pose a serious challenge to rivals like PayPal, according to recent trend data compiled by research firm Bernstein.


Drawing from the data, Quartz reports that ‌Apple Pay‌ currently accounts for about 5 percent of global transactions. If that growth trend continues, it may well become a long-term competitive threat to PayPal – and could even end up competing with Visa and Mastercard if it chose to set up its own payments network much further down the line.
‌Apple Pay‌ probably won't pose a challenge to the card giants anytime soon. While the tech company could, in theory, create its own network that runs outside the card systems, Bernstein argues that Apple still needs the card networks, which are ubiquitous and trusted. Visa and MasterCard, meanwhile, are used to dealing with partners (traditionally large card-issuing banks) with the kind of scale that even ‌Apple Pay‌ could muster.

The same may not be true for other wallets. "‌Apple Pay‌ is indeed one of the long-term competitive threats to PayPal," Bernstein analysts wrote. For now, PayPal has a commanding lead in the world of online checkouts, and also benefits from network effects that have been building up since the turn of the century. But Apple and PayPal could end up competing for the same turf in the coming years.
Apple's advantage over other digital payments includes its pre-installed Wallet app for iPhone and its tight control over the NFC technology contained within the device that can process contactless payments.

However, that tight control could cause headaches for Apple if it is perceived as a way to block competition. Apple argues that its policies are strictly for security purposes, but it has already run into difficulties in Australia, where big banks want access to the iPhone's NFC function for a competitive level playing field.

The company has also faced a backlash in in Germany, where a parliamentary committee recently passed an amendment to an anti-money laundering law that could force Apple to open up the NFC chip in iPhones to competing mobile payment providers.

In November 2019, the European Union's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager acknowledged that her department has received "many concerns" over ‌Apple Pay‌ and potential anticompetitive issues.

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Apple in Talks With Banks to Bring Apple Pay to Israel

Apple is in negotiations with financial institutions in the Middle East to bring Apple Pay to Israel, reports the regional Calcalist website.


According to the Hebrew-language publication, Apple representatives recently began a round of meetings with banks and credit card companies to formulate agreements to bring ‌Apple Pay‌ to the country.

The report notes that many Israeli businesses recently adopted the Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) standard for mobiles, allowing customer account credentials to be loaded directly onto NFC-enabled smartphones and used in contactless transactions.

Unlike Android devices, Apple's devices don't allow access to the NFC chip through apps other than Apple's own Wallet app, which means financial bodies must sign an ‌Apple Pay‌ agreement that allows the card to be registered in the Wallet. However, it appears that Apple's fee demands could be a sticking point in discussions. The report reads (English machine translation):
Recently, representatives of the Israeli financial system met with Apple representatives to reach cooperation agreements, but some players were surprised to find that Apple requires a fairly high fee estimated at 0.15% - 0.25% of any transaction made through ‌Apple Pay‌. This is between a quarter and a third of the credit card issuer's revenue from the transaction (bank or credit card company), which should only be paid for the right to pass through ‌Apple Pay‌.

"It is disproportionate, and constitutes an exploitation of its status and power," said a source close to the talks between the parties.
Apple routinely takes commission from national banking institutions in return for access to ‌Apple Pay‌, although Germany has passed legislation that could force Apple to open up the NFC chip in iPhones to competing mobile payment providers. Australia's big banks have also sought open access to the NFC chip on the iPhone in recent years.

(Thanks, Amit!)

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Curve Announces Apple Pay Support for Customers Across Europe

Curve, the banking and payment service which connects several accounts to one smart card, today announced Apple Pay support for all users across Europe.


For those unfamiliar with the service, Curve is a payment card that aggregates multiple payment cards via its accompanying mobile app, allowing users to make payments and withdrawals from a single card.

In other words, you can load a Mastercard or Visa debit and credit cards to the Curve app, and spend using just the Curve Mastercard.

With ‌Apple Pay‌ support now active, the Curve card can be added to the Wallet app just like any other card, allowing it to be used via iPhone and Apple Watch anywhere that accepts contactless payments or displays the ‌Apple Pay‌ logo.
"We are thrilled to announce ‌Apple Pay‌ is here for all European Curve customers," said Diego Rivas, Curve's Head of Product-OS. "Curve's integration with ‌Apple Pay‌ is a magnificent addition to Curve's unique money management features, superbly complimenting Curve's commitment to simplifying and unifying people's financial lives and enabling even more ways for customers to pay with one of the most rewarding and feature-packed personal finance products on the market," added Rivas.
Curve is available in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (excluding Crown Dependencies Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man).

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Apple Pay Express Transit Users in NYC Reportedly Being Charged Just for Going Near Tap-and-Pay Readers

Some travelers on the New York City subway who have enabled Apple's Express Transit feature on their iPhones are reportedly being hit with unintentional MTA charges when they walk near the tap-and-go fare readers.

Image credit: PRNewsfoto/OMNY

Express Transit is an Apple Pay feature that allows users to pay fares with a swipe of their iPhone at the turnstile without having to unlock their device first with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode.

But according to the New York Post, the OMNY tap-and-go fare readers that the MTA installed have been taking charges from commuters who used contactless cards and their iPhones were pocketed or in a purse.
Megan Bagg, 29, of SoHo, told The Post she has been charged twice — despite having her phone in her bag.

"It was ridiculous. My phone was in my purse near my hip," she said.

Bagg said she at first blamed the charge on her contactless credit card — and even called the bank to complain — until the second charge occurred when it wasn't on her person.

"I've been keeping my purse far from the thing when I go through the turnstile," she said.
Another subway user told The Post that he had had a similar experience swiping in with his MetroCard at Grand Central Terminal when his ‌iPhone‌ was in his pocket, and only noticed the doubled-up charge when later reviewing their bank statement.

MTA confirmed to the paper that "about 30 customers" had complained about unintended charges when the Express Transit feature of their iPhones is activated. The authority said it is working with Apple on a solution to address "the issue of unintended taps."

Apple says it has not had the issue in other cities where the Express Transit feature is available, so the problem seems to be down to the hypersensitivity of the NYC subway's tap-and-go readers. If you're a NYC subway user and you're concerned about being hit by bogus charges on your ‌iPhone‌ when paying with a card, you can turn off Express Transit until the issue with the terminals is fixed.

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Hong Kong’s Octopus Card Delays Apple Pay Support Until 2020

Hong Kong transit riders will not be able to use their Octopus card with Apple Pay this year as originally promised.


As noted by the blog Ata Distance, Octopus Cards Limited today announced that Apple Pay support has been delayed until later in 2020, after previously indicating that the rollout would be completed by the end of 2019.

Apple Pay support will allow the Octopus card to be added to the Wallet app for contactless fare payment using an iPhone or Apple Watch. Express Transit mode will likely be supported, allowing for tap-and-go payment without needing to authenticate the iPhone or Apple Watch with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode.

2019 was a big year for Apple Pay with Express Transit mode, with major cities like London and New York City rolling out support. Other cities like Philadelphia, San Diego, Shenzhen, and Washington, D.C. also have plans to support Apple Pay in 2020. Apple maintains a list of supported cities on its website.

(Thanks, Kanjo!)

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Australia’s Westpac Bank Announces Upcoming Support for Apple Pay

Westpac, the second largest bank in Australia, has announced plans to implement support for Apple Pay across its brands in 2020, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

‌Apple Pay‌ is now available for the St. George, BankSA, and Bank of Melbourne brands. Customers of these banks with an eligible Visa debit or credit card can now use ‌Apple Pay‌ for contactless payments and online purchases in Australia.


Westpac customers will have access to ‌Apple Pay‌ by June 2020, and the rollout to the main Westpac brand is said to take longer because Westpac currently uses a different banking platform. As the Westpac system is updated, ‌Apple Pay‌ will be rolling out for its regional brands.

"We want to assure Westpac customers we are working to bring them ‌Apple Pay‌ as quickly as possible, while we roll-out the technology across our different banking platforms," said chief executive of consumer banking David Lindberg.

Westpac has been a notable ‌Apple Pay‌ holdout and is the fourth of Australia's "big four" banks to implement support for ‌Apple Pay‌. Along with NAB and Commonwealth Bank, Westpac attempted to collectively bargain with Apple in an attempt to force Apple to open up the iPhone's NFC capabilities to support other digital wallets, like those offered by Westpac itself.

Apple argued that this would be harmful to consumers and would stifle innovation, and Australian regulators took Apple's side in the dispute. The banks were not provided with authorization to collectively bargain with Apple.

ANZ, one of the four major banks, has supported ‌Apple Pay‌ since it launched in Australia. Commonwealth Bank, Australia's largest bank, has supported ‌Apple Pay‌ since January 2019, and NAB implemented support in May 2019.

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Apple Pay Coming to Transit Systems in Philadelphia, San Diego, Boston, and More Cities Between 2020-2023

Transit agencies in major cities like London, New York, and Washington, D.C. have recently rolled out support for or expanded availability of Apple Pay for contactless fare payment using an iPhone or Apple Watch.


Given this trend, MacRumors reached out to transit agencies in additional cities across North America to inquire about their Apple Pay plans:
  • Philadelphia: SEPTA plans to start supporting Apple Pay and mobile ticketing next year. The rollout may begin as early as the second quarter of 2020, but the timeline is not firm yet.

  • Boston: MBTA says Apple Pay with Express Transit mode will be piloted in 2022 and rolled out widely in 2023. This will include CharlieCard fare card integration in the Wallet app.

  • San Diego: SDMTS plans to begin implementing a new fare payment system in late 2020 with support for mobile wallets like Apple Pay. No plans for Compass Card integration in the Wallet app at this time.

  • Toronto: Metrolinx says it is working toward initiating a limited pilot program to test out new forms of payment in 2020. In April 2018, Metrolinx reportedly said riders would be able to pay their fare by tapping their smartphone against a PRESTO reader in "far less than five years."

  • Montréal: STM plans to support Apple Pay around 2022-2023 for credit cards, but not the OPUS fare card.
We'll update this list if any other transit agencies respond.

Apple Pay with Express Transit mode allows for tap-and-go payment, eliminating the need to authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode. The device does not need to be waked or unlocked, either.

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