Apple announced on Thursday that the retail presence of its touchless, mobile payment platform — better known as “Apple Pay” — will be expanding even further during the 2016 calendar year.
Starbucks Coffee, Chili’s, and KFC locations nation-wide are joining the ever-evolving list of consumer outlets to embrace the NFC powered mobile wallet system.
At the annual Code/Mobile conference, Apple Pay executive Jennifer Bailey reported that select Starbucks Coffee locations will begin to implement compatibility of the service before the end of 2015, via a new pilot program, with widespread availability of supporting terminals on track for 2016 release.
Starbucks was actually one of the first major chains to adopt a mobile payments service through a similar method, which was built into its own mobile application. In essence, the app replicated a physical Starbucks rewards card, and featured options to reload the card, as well as conduct point of sale purchases via Apple Pay.
iPhone users were able to add their Starbucks rewards card to the iOS Wallet app, Passbook, prior to the application being replaced by the Wallet app with the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Re/code reports that the scan-to-pay technology accounts for nearly 20 percent of all in-store transactions at Starbucks, however it is not known, at this time, whether Starbucks will continue to acknowledge Apple Pay transactions placed through its existing program.
The Apple Pay platform was introduced in October 2014 alongside the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, though it was initially met with skepticism and mixed reviews. It has grown over the year since then, however – and Apple Pay has been adopted by thousands of retail and service locations, nation-wide, including Nike, Office Depot, McDonalds and Toys R’ Us. At its current rate, Apple Pay shows no signs of slowing down.