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Apple Pay Set to Launch on Monday

You gotta love leakers…

You know… the people who attend high-level corporate or political meetings, or have access to privileged information… only to think, “Oh, yeah… this is juicy stuff… I’m leaking it to the press when I get out of here”?

Well, there’s a gossip at Panera Bread (PNRA), because a leaked internal memo just spilled the beans on some very interesting information.

Namely, that Apple (AAPL) will launch its new mobile payment service, Apple Pay, on Monday.

Is Apple Still Awake?

If you recall, Apple unveiled the details of Apple Pay during its iPhone 6 announcement on September 9. And while most of the buzz centered on the new phone, Apple Pay is also noteworthy.

Is it true, trendsetting innovation? No.

After all, Google’s (GOOG) mobile payment service, Google Wallet, has been on the scene since September 2011.

But it does at least indicate that Apple hasn’t completely dozed off at the wheel yet.

When the company unveiled Apple Pay, Panera was listed among the initial retail partners in the launch, alongside the likes of Starbucks (SBUX), Target (TGT), Disney (DIS), Staples (SPLS), Uber, and others.

The Panera memo was disclosed by 9to5Mac, and reads: “As you are aware, Panera is a featured partner with Apple in their announcement of the iPhone 6 and the new Apple Pay platform. Now, we are excited to share that Apple is very close to releasing Apple Pay and actually planning to launch on October 20.”

How will it work? Simple…

Wave Phone Here to Make Payment

Using near-field communication (NFC) technology, customers will use their NFC-enabled phones to make payments, rather than traditional cash or cards.

Apple is using one of its existing, pre-installed apps to facilitate transactions – Passbook. If you’re unfamiliar, Passbook already stores users’ boarding cards, train tickets, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more. Apple is now using it to store users’ payment information now, too.

Once a customer has their Asiago steak sandwich (yeah, I’m a fan), they’ll just hold the phone near the NFC payment terminal, while holding their finger over the phone’s fingerprint sensor… and the transaction will be processed.

According to the memo, Apple and Panera have provided a one-minute online demo of how an Apple Pay transaction would work, along with an FAQ document on the VeriFone (PAY) payment terminals that Panera will use to process transactions.

The terminals will also be able to accept mobile payments from other services like Google Wallet.

It remains to be seen how successful Apple Pay will become. But with a host of top retailers supporting the launch – plus USAA Bank set to roll it out on November 7 and McDonald’s (MCD) recently revealing how it’ll accept Apple Pay at the drive-thru – the technology certainly has some solid early momentum.


Martin Denholm

Martin Denholm

, Managing Editor

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