Besides the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch, one of the biggest revelations to come from Apple’s epic press conference last month was about Apple Pay, a mobile payment system. We knew it was set to launch sometime in October and—according to the tech giant’s CEO Tim Cook—Monday, October 20 is the day.
Positioned as a way to revolutionize how you pay for stuff, Apple Pay—which will roll out as part of iOS 8.1—basically eradicates the need for wallets by allowing you to make credit and debit card payments with your phone via something called a near-field communication (NFC) chip that’s embedded in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and—when it launches—Apple Watch.
It’s worth noting that in order for Apple Pay to work, stores have to install a special reader—retailers already signed on include Starbucks, Macy’s, and Whole Foods—so shoppers can just scan their phones near the reader and use the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to confirm the transaction.
Apple Pay’s big selling point? Card numbers aren’t transmitted, aren’t saved on store’s devices, and aren’t even shared with retailers, making it a safety game-changer.