Apple Pay Goes Live, Experts Talk Benefits

With the launch of the Apple Pay mobile payment system on Monday, many experts will be watching to gauge its potential success. As with all things Apple, though, Apple Pay is certainly starting off with a bang.

Ahead of its launch, more than 500 banks across the U.S. -- including American Express, Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank of America -- had already signed on to support Apple Pay. So, too, had a large number of retailers, including the Disney Store, McDonald's, Office Depot, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market.

Apple is touting Apple Pay as an easy way to make mobile payments secured by Touch ID. The system can be used on the recently released iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as on the just-announced iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3.

'Most Complete System Out There'

We reached out to Gerry Purdy, chief mobile analyst with the market research and consulting firm Compass Intelligence, to learn more about Apple Pay's potential.

"I'm looking forward to trying it," Purdy said. "With so many financial institutions supporting it, it's probably the most complete mobile payment system out there."

Apple Pay has several features that will likely spur its widespread adoption, Purdy said. In addition to the large number of financial institutions and retailers supporting the system, its use of Touch ID and a unique identifier for every transaction add a significant level of security, he said.

Essentially, Purdy said, Apple Pay's technology will let users turn any of their credit or debit cards into smart cards. Chip-enabled payment cards are widely used in Europe, but the cost of implementing the technology has discouraged adoption in the U.S.

Another benefit of Apple Pay is its ability to support transactions without requiring the user to open an app, Purdy said. By enabling payments through contactless...

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