The US government has announced that it will support Apple Pay, according to a Bloomberg Business article by Tim Higgins and Elizabeth Dexheimer. The announcement came from the White House last Friday, as Silicon Valley leaders gathered for the Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Summit at Stanford University.
Starting in September, users of Apple’s mobile devices will be able to use the Apple Pay mobile payment platform for transactions with the federal government and its agencies, such as paying at national parks, receiving Social Security benefits, and using the Direct Express payment network. It’s a big win for Apple; as one consultant interviewed for the article notes, the announcement of support “makes it look like the federal government is endorsing Apple Pay.”
While the federal government has had some issues with its attitude towards privacy, the endorsement likely was helped along by Apple’s strong security measures – most notably the biometric fingerprint scanners embedded on every Apple mobile device. It may be that the White House is trying to show its commitment to such advances in a bid to repair its relationship with Silicon Valley, or it may simply be a natural step forward as more and more users adopt mCommerce. In any case, the government has recently at least attempted to grapple with the serious security issues facing consumers and citizens as ever larger amounts of sensitive data shift into the digital domain; this could be a signal that the government is prepared to lend support to companies embracing advanced security measures.
Whatever the reasons, the endorsement not only helps Apple to promote its service, but may also help to set a new security standard for the industry in general.