Apple is bringing its Apple Pay payments system to the web.
The company announced Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco that it's working with companies to add an Apple Pay icon to purchase things directly from websites. Once you hit the pay button on the website, you can authenticate the purchase using Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor on an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch.
This is a totally new method of using Apple Pay, which is linked to a credit card to process payments.
Up to this point, Apple has offered two ways to use Apple Pay, both of which also rely on Touch ID. The first allows people to load their credit information onto their phones and simply wave the device at payment terminals. But because this method requires both the device and the payment terminal to use the same close range wireless technology, it hasn't really taken off. The second way to use Apple Pay is within iPhone apps that allow people to purchase things without entering their credit card information or shipping information.
The new functionality puts Apple in direct competition with PayPal, which claims to have more than 179 million active users worldwide. Google also announced at its developer conference in May that it is working to bring Android Pay to websites.
Apple Pay says that uptake of its payment system has been growing at a "tremendous pace" with more than one million new users per week. The company says it is accepted at more than 2.5 million U.S. locations, and there are over 10 million contactless payment-ready locations in the countries where Apple is live today. The company is also seeing growth in the use of Apple Pay within apps.
Apple Pay for the web will be available starting this fall. Brands such as Etsy, Target, Expedia, United Airlines, Lululemon, The North Face, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have all signed on to bring Apple Pay to their websites. More will follow.
Apple is also allowing Apple Pay within Apple Watch apps, so users can call an Uber or Lyft ride simply by double-clicking a button on their Apple Watch. Apple will also work with new developer features for creating iMessage apps, apps that work with Siri with SiriKit and Maps. This means that developers can make it possible for you to buy movie tickets from Fandango within an iMessage conversation or to order an Uber car while looking up a location in Maps.
Apple Pay is available in six countries today and will launch in three new countries this summer: Switzerland, France and Hong Kong.
Updated 1:35 PM PT: This story was updated with additional background information about Apple Pay and information regarding Apple Pay for the web's launch.
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