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Subway to use Softcard NFC for mobile payments

The deal also means iPhone 6 users will be able to use Apple Pay to take a bite out of their favorite Subway sandwich.


The Subway sandwich chain is teaming up with Softcard to offer customers a way to buy food via their mobile phones.

Subway said Tuesday that it will kick off NFC-based mobile payments starting October 1 using Softcard, a mobile payments venture set up by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless. Formerly known as Isis Wallet, Softcard offers an app that supports mobile payments across more than 80 mobile devices sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon and comes preloaded on more than 30 different devices.

Consumers will be able to use their supported NFC-enabled mobile devices to tap a payment terminal at their local Subway restaurant in order to pay for their food. A pilot program launched in 2013 and will now reach more than 26,000 Subway locations around the US.

Will iPhone 6 users be able to tap into Apple Pay to take advantage of the new systems? Yes. Spokespersons for both Softcard and Subway confirmed to CNET that the Subway chains will work with NFC-enabled iPhones with Apple Pay when the new point-of-sale terminals roll out in October.

Beyond the ability to let you pay for an item on the go, Softcard offers its users a rewards program. Subway customers who load their rewards card into the Softcard app can tap their phones at the point of sale to take advantage of the feature. Subway promises that over the next few months it will automatically add the rewards card into the app.

A special promotion is also part of the new agreement. Softcard users who tap to pay for food at a Subway restaurant will score $1 back on every purchase made over $1. There are a couple of caveats, though. You must use an American Express Serve card for the Softcard app, and the deal ends December 31.

"Softcard has proven to be a valuable partner to us and we are proud to extend our relationship with them," Carman Wenkoff, Subway's Chief Information Officer, said in a statement. "As we've worked together to implement and pilot this technology, we've been impressed with the Softcard team and opportunities available through the Softcard platform."

Correction at 3 a.m. PT September 17: Softcard NFC terminals will support Apple Pay through the new iPhone 6.