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Dozens of vendors jump on Apple Pay bandwagon

With the expanded list, Apple says its mobile-payments system now supports cards that account for 90 percent of credit card purchases in the US.

James Martin/CNET

Apple has been busy signing up dozens of more banks, retail stores and startup firms to support its new Apple Pay payments system.

The company announced the new sign-ups on Tuesday, according to The New York Times, which listed the banks that have joined the mobile-payments system. Banks and credit card issuers that now support Apple Pay include SunTrust, Barclaycard and USAA. Ten more banks, including TD Bank North America, Commerce Bank, BB&T, Black Hills FCU, First Tennessee Bank, Dupaco Community CU, Idaho Central CU, Associated Bank, WesBanco and UW Credit Union, will support Apple Pay as of Tuesday, the Times said.

Factoring in the new banks, Apple Pay is now able to support the cards that account for around 90 percent of all credit card transactions in the US, according to the company. Its Apple Pay participating issuers page displays a list of banks that support the service in the US. However, the page was last updated on December 10, so it doesn't show the latest additions as of Tuesday.

Apple Pay is the company's first real foray into the world of mobile payments. But it isn't the only game in town, and not all vendors are buying into it.

A group known as Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX, has gathered together a large number of retailers such as Rite Aid and CVS to use a rival payments service known as CurrentC. For now, CurrentC is at a disadvantage as it lacks the fingerprint recognition and near-field communication (NFC) support that make Apple Pay easy to use. Still, there's a battle between Apple Pay and CurrentC. Apple needs to sign up as many banks and vendors as possible if it wants Apple Pay to become a standard among iPhone users.

Among retailers, Staples supports Apple Pay at its retail outlets. Grocery chains Winn-Dixie and Albertsons also accept Apple Pay, the Times said. Starting Friday, Amway Center, which plays host to the Orlando Magic basketball team, will start to support Apple Pay at many of its concession stands during games.

Beyond outscoring rival payments services, Apple's other task is to turn the concept of paying for items via your iPhone into something that's easy and convenient. Other services such as Google Wallet and Softcard have tried to find success in the mobile-wallet arena, but they have yet to make a major dent. Apple Pay's security, ease of use and growing lineup of supporters could give the market the boost and credibility that it needs.

"Retailers and payment companies see Apple Pay as the implementation that has the best chance at mass consumer adoption, which has eluded prior attempts," Patrick Moorhead, president of research firm Moor Insights & Strategy, told the Times. "They believe it will solve many of the problems they had before with electronic payments."