Apple Pay is officially coming to online purchases. The move was announced at this week’s WWDC developer’s conference.
Bringing some validation to rumors from earlier this spring, Apple confirmed that it is preparing to allow web purchases made using its digital payments service. It’s a pivot into even more direct competition against PayPal, which currently dominates the web payments space, and has itself been inching into the mobile payments market that Apple has pioneered.
But unlike the username-and-password authentication system used by PayPal, Apple’s web-based payments process will make use of biometric two-factor authentication via the user’s iPhone, requiring a Touch ID fingerprint scan to confirm purchases even when those purchases are made on a Macbook. That essentially extends the payment verification framework already in place with Apple Pay mPayments to the user’s computer.
Apple hasn’t set a firm date for the launch of its Apple Pay web service, but it’s expected to arrive this autumn. Meanwhile, Apple is working to expand the regional presence of its mPayment platform, and has announced that Apple Pay will soon arrive in France, Hong Kong, and Switzerland. It currently only has a handful of retailers lined up to support the platform in those regions—29 in Hong Kong, but only 18 in Switzerland and 11 in France—but it’s fair to expect its roster of supporters to grow over time, just as it’s user base can be expected to expand, both through mobile payments and, soon, the web.