Here's a quick summary of what Apple Pay can mean for payments (courtesy of Retail Dive):
1. The fact that leading banks and credit card companies are partnering with Apple is a sign that the shift to mobile payment systems is getting underway.
2. Card numbers are never sent to Apple servers or retailers. They are stored instead in the new iPhones’ Secure Element, a built-in security method.
3. The payment system will only be available on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the Watch.
4. Apple Pay will be available at 220,000 retail locations starting in October. But when compared to the over nine million U.S. retail locations that currently accept credit and debit cards, Apple Pay has some catching up to do.
5. The payment system will only be available on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the Watch (when the Watch comes out next year). It also relies on near field communication (NFC) technology, something only 10% of retailers currently have.
6. If customer preferences really do change from plastic to mobile, the days of credit cards could soon be over for retailers.