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Forget Your Wallet: Use Apple Pay At National Parks And For Other Transactions With Feds

14 February 2015, 10:09 am EST By Judy Mottl Tech Times
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While President Barack Obama won't be able to enjoy using Apple Pay until after November 2016, when the next president takes office, he's making sure the U.S. federal government climbs onboard the Apple Pay train while he's still in charge.

During a visit to Silicon Valley Friday Obama announced the federal government will be accepting the mobile payment system for those who use federal-payment cards, including Social Security and military veteran benefit cards. This also includes cards used in the GSA SmartPay system and the government's Direct Express payment.

In effect Apple just likely landed one of the biggest Apple Pay customers it could possibly hope for. Now not only is Apple Pay taking to the skies, given the JetBlue endorsement, you can swipe that iPhone to get into any U.Sl park.

"We're excited to announce that beginning in September, Apple Pay will be available for many transactions with the Federal Government, like for example when you pay for admission to your favorite national park," said Apple CEO Tim Cook during the announcement event. "We're also working to make sure credit and procurement cards issued to government employees for their expenses can be used with Apple Pay, and we're working on initiatives with leading banks and networks to use this technology with benefits programs like social security and veteran's pensions that serve citizens at both the state and federal level."

"It has big promotional value" for Apple, stated Richard Crone, chief executive officer of Crone Consulting LLC, said. "It makes it look like the federal government is endorsing Apple Pay."

The news hits just a day before a cybersecurity summit the White House is holding in Palo Alto, California.

Apple Pay adoption is sprouting up all over since its debut with Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones in 2014. The software lets iPhone 6 users pay for anything from groceries, gas, shopping items, or that take-out dinner with just a swipe of the smartphone using a retail terminal system.

Landing such a huge customer base will clearly cement Apple Pay as a leading mobile payment system among the increasing number of competitors, both from the banking and financial payment sector as well as retailers launching their own mobile payment systems.

Brand name retailers, including Wal-Mart and CVS, are not on board with Apple Pay, having devised their own mobile pay technologies. Credit card mega players Visa and MasterCard also aren't Apple Pay customers. Visa is reportedly advancing a token pay approach and MasterCard is taking a biometric approach for customer payment.

But not getting those big names doesn't seem to be worrying Apple much.

"We can imagine a day in the not so distant future when your wallet becomes a remnant of the past," Cook said.

As Tech Times reported earlier this week Obama uses a mandated BlackBerry device in his presidential duties but has clearly expressed some interest, and longing, in getting his hands on an iPhone once his mobile device use is not ruled by government security measures.

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