Bloomberg reported today that U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Silicon Valley bearing gifts for Tim Cook: A seal of approval for Apple Pay.
The White House announced Friday that Apple Inc.’s mobile-payment system will be enabled for users of federal-payment cards, including Social Security and veterans benefits that are paid out via debit cards. The deal includes the Direct Express payment network and government cards issued through GSA SmartPay, which handles more than 87.4 million transaction worth $26.4 billion each year, according to the General Services Administration.
Now thats a huge win for Apple Pay that could mean at least $26.4 billion of transactions each year. Not only that, but it might also result in more iPhone sales. Obama understands technology and probably knows that Apple Pay is one of the most secure mobile payment systems available in the US today. In October last year, U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order to improve security measures for federal credit cards in an effort to lead the way for banks and retailers. The President also called on Congress to enact his Cybersecurity Legislative Proposal.
Obama arrives in Silicon Valley at a time when his administration’s relationship with technology and Web companies has grown frosty over government spying and the privacy rights of their users and customers. Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard Inc., and Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America Corp., are among the industry executives slated to speak at the event.
Brian Roemmele writes in this blog that Apple Pay will be able to be used at national parks and other federal entities that currently accept credit cards by September 2015. This ultimately may represent thousands of locations in the US. This will have a profound impact on raising the rate of Apple Pay adoption overall. Brian says that "This Is A Huge Milestone For Apple And All Of Us", says Brian.
What a journey this has been! Remember those NFC deniers? Remember those instant payment experts here on Quora that “knew” Apple would not facilitate payments? Remember those high valuation payment startups that were so enthralled and insular, they passed up on having advance support for Apple Pay years ago? This news is a sort of crowning achievement, not so much in payment card volume or number of locations but in the fact that it is now irrefutable that Apple Pay has already become a part of not only payments history, but also American history.