Apple Pay To Begin Rolling Out to Starbucks, KFC, Chili’s Soon

Nearly one year after its debut, Apple Pay could see a boost in usership with the addition of Starbucks to the roster of retailers that support Apple's contactless payment system. Apple Pay is also expected to roll out to two other chains -- KFC and Chili's -- starting next year.

Apple executive Jennifer Bailey, the company's vice president of Internet services, Apple Pay, announced the program's expansion yesterday at re/Code's Code/Mobile conference in California.

Launched in the U.S. last October, Apple Pay uses near field communication (NFC) to handle transactions at a number of brick-and-mortar and online retailers. The payment system -- which also became available in the U.K. this summer -- is supported on Apple's latest devices, including the iPhone 6 family, the Apple Watch and recent models of the iPad.

New Support for Loyalty Programs

Beginning later this year, an unspecified number of Starbucks stores across the U.S. will begin a pilot program to accept payments via Apple Pay, Bailey said at the Code/Mobile conference. The retailer has committed to bringing the system to all 7,500 of its corporate-owned stores in 2016, she added.

A representative of Apple told us today that Apple Pay would also be coming to KFC and Chili's outlets across the U.S. next year. In the case of Chili's, the rollout is expected to start in the spring and eventually extend to all 1,000 or so corporate-owned stores.

Bailey noted that the recent iOS 9 mobile operating system update will now enable Apple Pay users to also add their loyalty cards for participating retailers. That "super-simple" capability will ensure that users can get loyalty-program credit for their purchases, she said.

Once loyalty program data is saved on an Apple device that information will be automatically presented during a transaction. "It can be a single-tap experience,"...

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