Apple Pay wins over more banks, still seeking retailers

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Customers of Chase, MasterCard, and Bank of America have already seen a major promotional push for Apple Pay, but now smaller banks and credit card providers are getting on board.

Apple now supports the cards that comprise 90 percent of credit card transactions in the U.S., according to a Tuesday New York Times report, with card issuers Barclaycard, SunTrust, and USAA joining the growing group of Apple Pay partners.

Ten banks started supporting Apple’s contactless payment solution on Tuesday. Associated Bank, BB&T, Black Hills FCU, Commerce Bank, Dupaco Community Credit Union, First Tennessee Bank, Idaho Central Credit Union, TD Bank North America, UW Credit Union, and WesBanco now allow their customers to pay for purchases with the tap of an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.

Retailers still lag behind, due in part to a retailer-backed payment solution called CurrentC that hasn't yet debuted, though big-box stores are slowly joining the Apple Pay club. Staples, Winn-Dixie, and Albertsons are all on board. Amway Center, where the Orlando Magic plays, on Friday will begin accepting Apple Pay for food and merchandise purchases.

Why this matters: It’s unclear just how successful Apple Pay has been, though it’s still very early days for the new service. Whole Foods, one of Apple Pay’s most vocal partners, said in October that it saw 150,000 Apple Pay transactions in the days following the service’s rollout. While that’s a drop in the bucket of total credit card transaction volume, it’s a sign that people are interested in Apple Pay. Now that Apple has the support of banks and credit card issuers, it needs to prove that Apple Pay is a better option for retailers than their own mobile payment effort—otherwise, even the most devoted Apple Pay fans will run out of places to use it.

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