Uncle Sam to accept Apple Pay

The U.S. government will begin accepting Apple Pay later this year, said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

He announced the news at the White House's summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection at Stanford University on Friday. Beginning in September, certain government transactions such as admission to national parks will accept Apple's mobile payment system, he said.

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But even more revolutionary developments may be around the corner, Cook said, explaining that Apple is working on initiatives with "leading banks and networks" to use this technology with benefit programs like Social Security and veterans' pensions that serve citizens at both the state and federal level.

"We're committed to engaging productively with the White House and Congress and putting the results of these conversations into action," Cook said.

The company is also exploring working Apple Pay into the credit and procurement cards issued to government employees for expenses.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
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Apple CEO Tim Cook

The Apple CEO said that his company's mobile payment system could be optimal on several fronts.

"We believe we can bring about a future that fully embraces both privacy and security," Cook said. "We must get this right."

A fact sheet on cybersecurity initiatives from the White House said that "Apple, Visa, MasterCard, Comerica Bank and U.S. Bank are committed to working together to make Apple Pay, a tokenized, encrypted service, available for users of federal payment cards, including DirectExpress and GSA SmartPay cards."

Read the liveblog of the cybersecurity summit