Apple Pay is moving out of the coffee shop and onto the web. With the release of iOS 10 this week and macOS Sierra on September 20th, support for the mobile payment system will soon be available on both mobile and desktop Apple devices.
If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac running these most recent releases, you should be able to select “checkout with Apple Pay” when completing a purchase on a participating site, letting you authorize your purchase with Touch ID. Apple Pay with only work on the Safari browser though, and if you’re paying via desktop you’ll have to have the Continuity feature enabled to hand the payment over to your mobile, tablet, or Apple Watch.
Don’t expect Apple Pay everywhere
Availability of Apple Pay on the web is going to be spotty to begin with. Some individual companies like Time Inc. and Wayfair have already announced support for the platform, and backend payment services including Shopify and Stripe will be able to offer Apple Pay to smaller retailers, but don’t expect your favorite online store to be ready from day one.
Expanding the territory covered by mobile payment systems from brick and mortar stores to the web is going be a slow business, but Apple isn’t the only player. Google announced last week that it would “soon” be bringing its competing service, Android Pay, to the mobile web, although it didn’t mention a timeframe for desktop availability.
Like Apple, the advertising giant is limiting support to its own browser, Google Chrome, at least to begin with anyway. This platform lock-in could slow adoption of mobile payments for both companies, although neither side has a clear advantage. While Apple Pay is reportedly the most popular mobile payment system in physical stores in the US, Chrome easily beats Safari in terms of browser market share.