Apple Pay interest high for retailers; PGA Tour to take it starting next week

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Apple Pay interest high for retailers; PGA Tour to take it starting next week

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The Wall Street Journal said in an article yesterday that Apple Pay is "making progress toward a goal that has eluded other mobile wallets: persuading people to use it."

At a supermarket near Zion National Park in Utah, a night manager told the Journal that she estimates that 30 percent of all shoppers are now using the service and that a full five times as many customers use Apple Pay than use competing payment service Softcard.

As of now, Apple says that over 220,000 locations in the US accept Apple Pay. The Journal noted that Brian Roemmele, a payments consultant, said "I've never seen a bigger adoption of an alternative-payment system," pointing to Bank of America's recent statement that nearly 800,000 of its customers signed up for Apple Pay in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Retail point-of-sale supplier Harbortouch Payments LLC said it has seen a jump from 22 to 68 percent of merchants asking for wireless readers, starting in the month after Apple Pay was announced.

Visa's Jim McCarthy, the global head of innovations and strategic partnerships said that "Apple Pay will be the 'reference model' for future mobile-payments services." Even Google is reacting to Apple Pay's wild success, apparently in negotiations to acquire Softcard.

In other Apple Pay news, MasterCard announced that the PGA Tour will accept Apple Pay starting at the Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona this week. In a press release on Business Wire this morning, MasterCard stated:

The acceptance of easy-to-use contactless payments, fully integrated into concession technology, is just the beginning of how MasterCard and the PGA TOUR are delivering an enhanced experience to golf spectators. MasterCard cardholders who use Apple Pay at supported course concessions during the Waste Management Phoenix Open – which begins Thursday, January 29th on The Golf Channel – may also get a Priceless Surprise!

We're sure to find out more about how Apple Pay is faring from Apple's executives, including CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri, during tomorrow's earnings call.

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