Credit unions get payments foothold in Apple Pay

Credit unions should take note that credit card companies, issuers, and other industries are rallying around the tech giant’s long-awaited payments play.

by. Marc Rapport

Credit unions weren’t left out of the party when Apple announced Tuesday the long-expected launch of the payments service that its CEO promises will change everything.

In a media splash in its California hometown, the tech giant rolled out its new iPhone 6 models and Apple Watch, all supporting the new Apple Pay payments network.

Apple Pay will include near-field communications and tokenization techniques to shield account info stored in its new devices. The big card brands — MasterCard, Visa, and American Express — already are along for the ride.

In fact, Visa immediately followed Apple’s announcement with one of its own: the launch of the Visa Token Service. Here’s a simple description: “Visa Token Service replaces sensitive payment account information found on plastic cards with a digital account number or ‘token.’ Because tokens do not carry a consumer’s payment account details, such as the 16-digit account number, they can be safely stored by online merchants or on mobile devices to facilitate e-commerce and mobile payments.” Oh, and this service is available on all major platforms, which would include Android and Microsoft.

MasterCard will be offering its own version, labeled MasterCard Digital Enablement Service. “This shift of every device becoming a shopping device is the biggest change we’ve seen in payments since the introduction of plastic, and yesterday’s news is a defining moment in the industry’s evolution,” MasterCard said in a release.

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