McDonald’s, Walgreen, Groupon among early users of Apple Pay

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Three Chicago-area companies will be among the early users of Apple Pay, the new virtual wallet unveiled Tuesday by Apple Inc.

McDonald’s Corp., Walgreen Co. and Groupon Inc. will be among the retailers participating in Apple Pay, which is expected to debut in October.

Apple’s new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch will come equipped with near-field communication that allows users to pay for purchases by holding their device close to a payment reader.

“Apple Pay enhances our global digital strategy and is a win for McDonald’s customers who desire greater speed and ease,” said Atif Rafiq, McDonald’s senior vice president and global chief digital officer. Apple’s mobile payments service “brings a new level of convenience to McDonald’s customers, allowing them to instantly pay and stay, or pay and be on their way.”

You need to know about NFC and mobile payments [CNet]

McDonald’s said iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users simply hold their devices near the contactless NFC reader to make a payment at front counters and drive-thrus at nearly all of the company’s 14,000 restaurants. Users’ payments will be charged to their credit or debit card on file from their iTunes Store account.

“We’re excited to see the mobile payments industry reach a potential inflection point. As the technology catches on, McDonald’s will be well positioned to leverage the investments we’ve made around the world,” Rafiq said.

Walgreen said Apple Pay simplifies the check-out process for cashiers and makes shopping faster and easier for customers.

“We believe customers will enjoy the convenience of Apple Pay, which will bring an easier, secure and more private way to make purchases at Walgreens and Duane Reade” the company said in an email.

Groupon will add an Apple Pay option to its mobile app.

“Bringing Apple Pay to the Groupon mobile app makes it easier than ever to find and buy the best things around you,”Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky said in a news release. Groupon says its mobile app has been downloaded nearly 92 million times worldwide.

Apple says other companies that have signed on to use Apple Pay include Chipotle, Starbucks, Panera Bread Co., Macy’s, Whole Foods and Disney stores. And yes, Apple stores too.

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