Apple said to have inked a deal with American Express for upcoming payment service

In a little over a week, Apple will be holding a press conference where it is expected that they will announce the iPhone 6 and likely an ​iWatch too. One of the expected features of the new phone is that it will support NFC and a new payment service from Apple.

According to Re/Code, who has been leaking all sorts of stuff about Apple's upcoming products, American Express has signed a deal with the Cupertino company to support the new payment system. 

What Apple is likely to introduce is that by using NFC on your phone, you can use your device to pay for goods and services at retail outlets without having to swipe your credit card. With NFC built into the phone, you can simply tap it on a POS terminal (possibly Apple's new iBeacon) which is linked to your credit card. The concept is not new by any means but for the most part, it has not taken off in the United States. With Apple selling hundreds of millions of smartphones with a common payment platform, they could be looking to become a serious player in the payment industry.

For Apple, it will be important for them to sign deals with all of the major credit card companies so that the adoption of the platform is a simple process for the consumer. Seeing that American Express, and as previously reported, Visa, have already signed deals, there are only a few companies left to join the platform to make it complete.

We won't have to wait long to see if this information is accurate as Apple's media event is scheduled for next Tuesday.

Source: Re/Code | Image Credit: Shutterstock - American express card in wallet

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Perfect match up. Two companies that want to move away from being standard. Amex is a PITA, they cost more to accept, theylook after their own payments and merchant support, they are the last with technology like PIN numbers, chips and NFC.

I really thought Apple would go with a solution for all cards, not just one. It limits things, especially outside of the USA.

I mean, at least with supporting Visa and MC you get the use of debit cards across the globe.

Someone might correct me on this... but when I last looked into this in the UK it seemed like no mobile operators had yet enabled the service which requires a new type of SIM that secures the data on it???

So whilst many places in the UK now have NFC readers - they only accept NFC bank/credit cards (which Natwest won't issue me till next year) - yet I have an NFC phone which can't be enabled because of the operators... and people wonder why NFC this isn't taking off!

Your phone has a secure element built into it. It doesn't necessarily have to be built into the SIM (though that is possible as well). You can use NFC in the UK via your phone, there just aren't a huge amount of wallets available to use it.

One thing that slightly concerns me about this technology is what happens if your phone is lost or stolen and you don`t realize for a couple of hours? Can someone just rack up a huge sum by swiping across terminals? At least with chip and pin if your card is stolen or lost it`s basically useless for in person purchases.
Maybe the credit card companies will use some software which flags up any weird spending done via nfc...
I know America doesn`t use chip and pin, which to me seems a bit strange ;)

America is (slowly) migrating to chip and PIN.

Your contactless card is relatively secure. This includes phones, which will have a PIN on them as well. Contactless payments have "floor limits" and "ceiling limits" that prevents transactions above a certain amount without prompting for an online check (i.e. talk to the bank) or a PIN entry.

Riggers said,
One thing that slightly concerns me about this technology is what happens if your phone is lost or stolen and you don`t realize for a couple of hours? Can someone just rack up a huge sum by swiping across terminals? At least with chip and pin if your card is stolen or lost it`s basically useless for in person purchases.
Maybe the credit card companies will use some software which flags up any weird spending done via nfc...
I know America doesn`t use chip and pin, which to me seems a bit strange ;)

I know here in Australia the limit for an NFC payment without a PIN is $100. We only, on August 1, got rid of signatures here.

It's no different to losing your NFC enabled card. Except in countries where signatures are still allowed, in which losing your phone would be a better option than losing a card that just requires a forged signature to get out the door with no limit on what you spend outside of the card limit.

True and thats because for many people they would not have heard of NFC until Apple got the industry partnerships, launched it when it was ready for everyday use, promoted it and put it in reach of normal users.

This is what Apple does, Apple gives their users access to otherwise complex and unheard of technology.

Apple will make NFC the next big thing and for most 'normal' people who don't read tech blogs it will be 'magical'.

derekaw said,
True and thats because for many people they would not have heard of NFC until Apple got the industry partnerships, launched it when it was ready for everyday use, promoted it and put it in reach of normal users.

This is what Apple does, Apple gives their users access to otherwise complex and unheard of technology.

Apple will make NFC the next big thing and for most 'normal' people who don't read tech blogs it will be 'magical'.

NFC payments have been available to consumers on their mobiles for quite some time, actually. You'll find Samsung bought it to the people, and the banks bought it to Samsung. At least here in Australia they have.

derekaw said,
My comment was really to TMYW and how Apple could be credited by some for 'inventing' NFC.

I'm not disagreeing so to speak. Apple will make it popular. Then it will be catchup for Android again.

derekaw said,
My comment was really to TMYW and how Apple could be credited by some for 'inventing' NFC.

You're essentially saying that iPhone users are ignorant.

derekaw said,
True and thats because for many people they would not have heard of NFC until Apple got the industry partnerships, launched it when it was ready for everyday use, promoted it and put it in reach of normal users.

This is what Apple does, Apple gives their users access to otherwise complex and unheard of technology.

I guess Intel chips weren't ready for the market until Apple adapted them, right?

derekaw said,
True and thats because for many people they would not have heard of NFC until Apple got the industry partnerships, launched it when it was ready for everyday use, promoted it and put it in reach of normal users.

This is what Apple does, Apple gives their users access to otherwise complex and unheard of technology.

Apple will make NFC the next big thing and for most 'normal' people who don't read tech blogs it will be 'magical'.


Load of garbage. Apple tried to push their own tech called iBeacon and that obviously failed. So now they have no choice but to go with NFC to get into the mobile payment game. They are just following the leader as usual.

jakem1 said,
It seems strange to partner with a credit card that nobody uses.

Do your research before you post. You come off as a fool if you don't.

"Amex cards account for approximately 24% of the total dollar volume of credit card transactions in the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Express

24% in one country. Big deal.

Living in Europe and having travelled widely around the world, I couldn't tell you the last time I saw a business that accepted American Express. It's a niche player in the credit card market that's dominated by Mastercard and Visa. Given that Apple sell their phones internationally it makes no sense to partner with a company whose cards very few of their customers use.

I think it's you that looks the fool and you're unnecessarily rude. It's ignorant people like you that make this site unbearable.

seeprime said,
American Express Feb. 2014 annual report says that in 2013 952 billion dollars were charged with a card that nobody uses.

He's not saying no-one uses it, he's saying outside of your god damn american bubble lies the rest of the world, and in the amazing thing that is the rest of the world, the use of american express is so minute it's insignificant.

n_K said,

He's not saying no-one uses it, he's saying outside of your god damn american bubble lies the rest of the world, and in the amazing thing that is the rest of the world, the use of american express is so minute it's insignificant.

A credit card called American Express is not really used in countries not called America?

*faints*

American express accounted for less than 10% of global payment volume last time I looked, but indeed they spend more per transaction which might suggest they are more likely to be owners of apple devices... although that may be counter intuitive as isn't NFC aimed at lots or low transactions costs rather than single big payments.

n_K said,

He's not saying no-one uses it, he's saying outside of your god damn american bubble lies the rest of the world, and in the amazing thing that is the rest of the world, the use of american express is so minute it's insignificant.

This is what he wrote. "It seems strange to partner with a credit card that nobody uses." Neowin allows ten minutes to edit a comment to include additional thoughts such as "..outside the US". Now go chill, please.

It seems strange to partner with a credit card that nobody uses.

Did you miss the part where Visa has already partnered with Apple for it? And I'm sure they're looking to get Mastercard too.

Why should Apple exclude a very big market segment just because they aren't used outside the US. It makes no sense to do that at all. It benefits them to get everyone involved.

24% in one country. Big deal.

And that one country is one of Apple's biggest markets.

Living in Europe and having travelled widely around the world, I couldn't tell you the last time I saw a business that accepted American Express. It's a niche player in the credit card market that's dominated by Mastercard and Visa. Given that Apple sell their phones internationally it makes no sense to partner with a company whose cards very few of their customers use.

You traveled around the world and yet you didn't even realize that the vast majority of big hotels and airlines accept it. And one of AMEX's key features is that their travel benefits are far better than any other credit card issuer, with Chase coming a close second.

Sure Mastercard and Visa are accepted in many more places but the benefits that my AMEX gives means that when I can use it, I use it. For the places that I can't, then I have a visa.

And yet again, Apple have ALREADY partnered with Visa. And I'm sure they're going to partner with Mastercard too. They're just adding AMEX to their list of partners, that's it.

jakem1 said,
24% in one country. Big deal.

Living in Europe and having travelled widely around the world, I couldn't tell you the last time I saw a business that accepted American Express. It's a niche player in the credit card market that's dominated by Mastercard and Visa. Given that Apple sell their phones internationally it makes no sense to partner with a company whose cards very few of their customers use.

I think it's you that looks the fool and you're unnecessarily rude. It's ignorant people like you that make this site unbearable.


I live in Europe, travel a lot as well, carried an Amex card since 1975 and I noted that the establishments that do not have Amex are, mostly, in the low segment.

jakem1 said,
It seems strange to partner with a credit card that nobody uses.

Apple will partner with them all, this is just the first one reported.

Cosmocronos said,

I live in Europe, travel a lot as well, carried an Amex card since 1975 and I noted that the establishments that do not have Amex are, mostly, in the low segment.

Agreed - I live in the UK and the majority of stores accept American Express.

Cosmocronos said,
Amex is widely used but, by far more important, users are usually people with higher buying capabilities.

No. That's simply not correct at all.

While Amex might be a player in the USA, they are certainly not for the higher class spender.

Amex will have you believe that it's all about black and red cards, but the fact of the matter is, they have contracts with banks here to basically give you an Amex companion card with your Visa or MC. The only reason people use them here is because they get extra reward or frequent flier points when they use the companion card.

It's pretty widely accepted here, but most merchant charge a fee, as the Amex fees are higher than the regular cards.

I don't charge extra for mine, but I certainly don't push the use of the card. The money takes 2-3 days to hit our accounts, as opposed to same day with Visa and MC, it costs more for me to run on through, the their customer care is pretty average and is not handled through our bank.

I certainly don't see Amex as the more popular card, and most people who have the companion don't use it, think about it, or even know why they got it.

Actually in the US its harder to get an amex card and they don't just give them away. There have also been studies that show that people with amex cards tend to spend more money and buy more "luxury" items than people without one.

Worldwide that may be different of course.

Nashy said,

No. That's simply not correct at all.

While Amex might be a player in the USA, they are certainly not for the higher class spender.

Amex will have you believe that it's all about black and red cards, but the fact of the matter is, they have contracts with banks here to basically give you an Amex companion card with your Visa or MC. The only reason people use them here is because they get extra reward or frequent flier points when they use the companion card.

It's pretty widely accepted here, but most merchant charge a fee, as the Amex fees are higher than the regular cards.

I don't charge extra for mine, but I certainly don't push the use of the card. The money takes 2-3 days to hit our accounts, as opposed to same day with Visa and MC, it costs more for me to run on through, the their customer care is pretty average and is not handled through our bank.

I certainly don't see Amex as the more popular card, and most people who have the companion don't use it, think about it, or even know why they got it.

It is true indeed that Amex offers its cards through banks, exactly as various circuits, like CartaSi in Italy for example, do piggy bagging on Visa or Mastercard , but you can contact Amex and request a card without any bank involvement.
Personally I use it because:
A) No preset spending limit
B) By far, at least this is my personal experience, superior customer service compared to other cards linked to Visa or MasterCard.
Btw if you have a Black/Centurion card.... you are an affluent client: $2,500 as yearly fee and a spending of at least $150,000 in the previous year are quite steep requirements.

Um Google Wallet already does this exact same thing. Same with on Windows Phone with Wallet. Apple is just joining in with their own version.

Other companies are also promoting their own version with things like Paypal beacon and I'm sure all the major smartphone OSes will be looking to grab those features too.

Very few people use Google Wallet. Apple already has a large pool of credit card numbers combined with touch id, NFC, and passport are in better position to be successful. Google and android yet to make dent in this category.

Melfster said,
Very few people use Google Wallet. Apple already has a large pool of credit card numbers combined with touch id, NFC, and passport are in better position to be successful. Google and android yet to make dent in this category.

This. While I have the technology on my phone via my bank, I don't really use it, as I feel like a ######.

But I think Apple will make this something that will become the norm. It's probably about time people appreciated the good Apple do, even if it's not innovative tech.

They will do this right, and make people want it. Unfortunately, they've gone with Amex, so have effectively shut out anyone without an Amex (I big percentage of the people who will use this type of tech IMO), and anyone who has chosen to keep credit cards out of their life. I use mine with a debit card, Amex don't have them.

Seriously do people read the article? Amex is just one of their partners. They've already signed a deal with visa and I'm sure they'll sign one with MasterCard too. Apple isn't stupid.

-Razorfold said,
Seriously do people read the article? Amex is just one of their partners. They've already signed a deal with visa and I'm sure they'll sign one with MasterCard too. Apple isn't stupid.

Did you reply to the wrong comment? Yours doesn't make sense given the other quotes here.

And yes, I did read the article on Neowin. I didn't click the link, because well, I don't come to Neowin for links to other sites.

Nashy said,

Did you reply to the wrong comment? Yours doesn't make sense given the other quotes here.

And yes, I did read the article on Neowin. I didn't click the link, because well, I don't come to Neowin for links to other sites.

No you said that Apple has effectively shut out anyone who doesn't have an Amex card. Towards the end of the Neowin article:

For Apple, it will be important for them to sign deals with all of the major credit card companies so that the adoption of the platform is a simple process for the consumer. Seeing that American Express, and as previously reported, Visa, have already signed deals, there are only a few companies left to join the platform to make it complete.

Is it just me or is every Apple article slowly becoming just a rumour and speculation about one solitary feature. How exactly does someone come to know about just one of these features but not some of the others at the same time? - surely at least some of these leaks should have been made simultaneously unless they are deliberately being made into separate leaks by either Apple or the news outlets!?

In the last month alone we've had:

- Apple said to have inked a deal with American Express for upcoming payment service
- Apple said to be considering $400 price tag for its iWatch
- Apple's iWatch may not ship until 2015
- 4.7-inch iPhone 6 could come with two screen material options
- Apple said to launch NFC payments with iPhone 6, seriously this time
- Apple's iWatch will reportedly make its debut on September 9th
- Apple reportedly plans to take on Surface Pro 3 with a 12.9-inch iPad
- iPhone 6 rumored to include 128GB storage option and parked car locator
- Apple looking to bring a lot of convenience to the standard USB plug
- Larger iPhone could be known as the iPhone 6L
- New iPads are expected to ship later this year
- iPhone 6 may hark back to original iPhone for design inspiration
- Apple said to launch the iPhone 6 on September 9
- Apple said to be launching the iPhone 6 on October 14th

Imagine someone telling you they have a new partner but then telling you their name, eye colour, hair colour, when they met, etc. on separate days for the next month.

Apple has very rarely commented on unreleased products and in-process deals. The only thing left is speculation.

No, it came when Apple was ready, when the time was right, when the deals were in place when the infrastructure was in place and more, you can't just launch a mobile payments system overnight, I expect that Apple was working on this for more than three years.

Actually you can launch a mobile payments system 'overnight' but you end up with Google Wallet or similar and they are not widely used or well known. The Apple solution will be very different, everyone will know about it and Apple will take credit for making NFC phone payments happen and mainstream.


You are right about it being revolutionary, For most people who don't read tech blogs and who don't don't know about NFC it will be a revolution.

derekaw said,
No, it came when Apple was ready, when the time was right, when the deals were in place when the infrastructure was in place and more, you can't just launch a mobile payments system overnight, I expect that Apple was working on this for more than three years.

Actually you can launch a mobile payments system 'overnight' but you end up with Google Wallet or similar and they are not widely used or well known. The Apple solution will be very different, everyone will know about it and Apple will take credit for making NFC phone payments happen and mainstream.


You are right about it being revolutionary, For most people who don't read tech blogs and who don't don't know about NFC it will be a revolution.

Except, no. Banks have been advertising it for a long time now. The general public are well aware that it is available.

Nashy said,

Except, no. Banks have been advertising it for a long time now. The general public are well aware that it is available.


Maybe where you are. But here in the US they really haven't. A few credit cards have the little NFC chip instead them, but the vast majority don't and even so very very few stores accept it.

Also remember this is America where we still swipe things even though chip and pin has been around for at least a decade now.

One of the things that may hinder it (not sure how it'll work obviously) is that all the payments go through Google / Apple / Microsoft. Not a bad thing, but there are a ton of credit cards that give you bonus rewards based on what you buy, ie groceries, travel etc. If the payments go through Google / Apple / MS they'll just show up on your statement as a purchase from those companies. And so you lose out on those bonus rewards and that may end up being a dealbreaker.

derekaw said,
No, it came when Apple was ready, when the time was right, when the deals were in place when the infrastructure was in place and more, you can't just launch a mobile payments system overnight, I expect that Apple was working on this for more than three years.

Actually you can launch a mobile payments system 'overnight' but you end up with Google Wallet or similar and they are not widely used or well known. The Apple solution will be very different, everyone will know about it and Apple will take credit for making NFC phone payments happen and mainstream.


You are right about it being revolutionary, For most people who don't read tech blogs and who don't don't know about NFC it will be a revolution.

Great post!

derekaw said,
No, it came when Apple was ready, when the time was right, when the deals were in place when the infrastructure was in place and more, you can't just launch a mobile payments system overnight, I expect that Apple was working on this for more than three years.

Actually you can launch a mobile payments system 'overnight' but you end up with Google Wallet or similar and they are not widely used or well known. The Apple solution will be very different, everyone will know about it and Apple will take credit for making NFC phone payments happen and mainstream.


You are right about it being revolutionary, For most people who don't read tech blogs and who don't don't know about NFC it will be a revolution.


They were late. Apple wa trying to push iBeacon and it looks like that endeavor failed. Now they have to go with NFC. So, YEAH, they are 3 years too late.

TechKnowNYCKEY said,

They were late. Apple wa trying to push iBeacon and it looks like that endeavor failed. Now they have to go with NFC. So, YEAH, they are 3 years too late.

'3 years too late' but it has all the potential and probability to be the most successful mobile payments system by far because it has the Apple name behind it. How is it too late? What use by date has expired? what winning mobile payments solution does apple have to beat right now?

derekaw said,

'3 years too late' but it has all the potential and probability to be the most successful mobile payments system by far because it has the Apple name behind it. How is it too late? What use by date has expired? what winning mobile payments solution does apple have to beat right now?

This. I see their little system becoming the norm. I mean, the airlines are on board with it, so it's hardly a fail on Apple's part.

People (read Android fanboys) forget that Apple actually makes things that already exist, better. It's that simple. They make it so it appeals to the masses, and then it becomes popular.