Apple’s mobile payment service Apple Pay is said to be expanding to mobile websites later this year, reports Re/code. Apple Pay originally debuted on the iPhone 6 in the fall of 2014. The service has both a hardware and software backbone. The software stores a user’s payment details, such as a credit or debit card, while the NFC chip inside compatible iPhones allows payments to be done on physical terminals in store. The final part of the hardware component is the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which is how a user authenticates a payment with Apple Pay.
In addition to being able to use Apple Pay in store, users can also use the service to make purchases inside compatible apps and via mobile sites in iOS's Safari browser, reports Re/code. It also notes that retailers had 9.8 billion visits from potential customers to their mobile websites last year compared to only 8.1 billion visits through their mobile apps.
"Sources say that Apple is telling potential partners that the Apple Pay expansion to mobile websites will be ready before this year’s holiday shopping season," notes Re/code. "An announcement could come at WWDC, Apple’s conference for software developers, which typically takes place in June, though sources cautioned that the timing of an announcement could change."
What’s even more interesting is that Apple Pay could reportedly come to Apple’s desktop and laptops line. Currently no Mac desktop or laptop offers Touch ID, the critical authentication component in Apple Pay. If Re/code’s sources are correct, it’s possible that the rumored MacBooks expected to debut around June’s WWDC could feature built-in Touch IDs.
The expansion of Apple Pay is bad news for PayPal, which offers a similar software-based fast checkout solution called One Touch that is used on 250 of the top 500 websites.