Are consumers ready to cast off their credit cards in favor of a smartphone application?
That would be Apple's best-case scenario as it officially launches Apple Pay, the new mobile payment service that allows users to buy goods with their smartphones. The tech titan is betting consumers will no longer want to carry their wallets, credit cards or cash.
Here is how Apple Pay works: users walk up to a checkout line while hold their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus up to a special reader. By simply pressing the fingerprint sensor, the transaction is completed.
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For online shopping within apps, apple pay is also available on the recently announced iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3.
The new service is enabled by a free software update to iOS 8.
"Taking out your credit card and swiping it is pretty easy," Eddy Cue, apple's senior vice president of internet software and services, tells CNBC. "We wanted to make something that was even easier than that."
With this new service, Apple is trying to capitalize on the swelling mobile payments market, which is set to quadruple to $90 billion by 2017, according to Forrester Research. The company has not yet disclosed how it intends to monetize this service.
The iPhone maker already boasts an extensive network of retailers and merchants jumping on the mobile payment bandwagon at 220,000 locations across the country, including Whole Foods, McDonald's and Macy's.