iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users that update to the new iOS 8.1 mobile software, released Monday, will be the first to check out Apple’s new Apple Pay mobile payments system.
The 27 retailers listed on Apple’s site spans hundreds of thousands of locations, which should give curiosity seekers numerous options to road test the new tap-to-pay features. These include:
- Duane Reade
- Foot Locker (and its House of Hoops, Kids and Lady branches)
- Office Depot
- Panera Bread
- Radio Shack
- Toys ‘R Us
- Whole Foods
One notable omission is Starbucks, an early partner that wound up only being able to offer a watered-down experience using the Apple Pay mobile app. Turns out, those coffee joints don’t have compatible terminals, so don’t bother knocking your device to their barcode scanners.
Apple Pay will work at various e-commerce retail sites too. But where’s the fun in that? Chances are, most people will want to roll up to a counter and order a Big Mac by bopping their iPhones to a terminal. It’s like a taste of the future awaits within those combo meals, and with a side of fries to boot.
Owners of iPhone 5, 5S and 5C will also be able to try out Apple Pay’s tap-to-pay features, but only if they buy the Apple Watch when it comes out early next year. The watch will feature the Near Field Communication chip necessary for tap-to-pay functionality, which those older phones lack.
This launch period will be key for gauging initial interest in Apple Pay, which may offer an inkling of the initiative’s potential longer-term success. However, early numbers probably won’t be available in time for Apple’s earnings call, later today.