During fashion week in September, Apple had both the tech and fashion industries in a tizzy when it unveiled the hotly anticipated Apple Watch alongside the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. That day, the company also announced a new feature called Apple Pay, a mobile payment service that allows you to make purchases with your phone -- and, when it launches, the Apple Watch -- rather than with a credit card. At the time, the service was estimated to go live in time for the holidays.
Well, hold on to your seats, because Apple has just announced that it's dropping Monday.
A number of retailers like Walgreens, Whole Foods and Subway are already on board, along with major banks including American Express, Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo, Chase and Capital One. From the fashion and beauty world, Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters and Bloomingdales will accept Apple Pay in stores come Monday, with Sephora, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Free People coming later in the year.
How does Apple Pay actually work? With an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus upgraded to iOS 8.1, you can add credit and debit cards to Apple Pay from iTunes or by scanning them. In a store, you hold your phone up to a reader at checkout with your thumb against the touch ID pad; if the payment goes through, you'll a get a buzz and a beep. Mad easy, and -- according to Apple, at least -- safe.
Unfortunately, you do have to have a 6 or 6 Plus to use Apple Pay, since the new devices are outfitted with the Near Field Communication antenna necessary to make the connection. Paying via the Apple Watch will also be an option... once that launches some time in 2015.