Apple Pay secures key US govt contract
17 February 2015 12:27 GMT

Apple Pay will also become available for other transactions with the federal government, such as at national parks.

Apple’s biometric payment system is set to be used by the US Federal Government for payment cards and social security and veteran’s payments, following an announcement by US President Barack Obama.

The White House announced on Friday that “Apple, Visa, MasterCard, Comerica Bank and US Bank are committed to working together to make Apple Pay, a tokenized, encrypted service, available for users of federal payment cards, including DirectExpress and GSA SmartPay cards.”

The Direct Express payment network and GSA SmartPay system involves some 87 million transactions and is worth over $26 billion a year. DirectExpress is a MasterCard branded product.

Apple Pay will also become available for other transactions with the federal government, such as at national parks, starting in September, Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Friday.

At the cybersecurity conference at Stanford University, Obama stressed the importance of shoring up the digital identity security systems for payments.

"As consumers, we do more online than ever before. We manage our bank accounts. We shop. We pay our bills. We handle our medical records," Obama said. "(T)his problem of how we secure this digital world is only going to increase."

"The fact is whether you paid with cash for stuff or you're paying with a card or a phone or your biometric print, what you do want is safety and security in the transaction form," said MasterCard President and CEO Ajay Banga. "You want to make sure you aren't getting something that comes at you which steals stuff that is yours."