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Apple Pay launch tipped for October 20th by Panera Bread

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Apple made no secret that its payment service Apple Pay wasn't ready to roll when the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus went on sale last month, saying only that it would be ready sometime in October. Now it appears that the waiting game to start using your phone and fingerprint as a credit card is almost over. A purported internal memo from Panera Bread, one of Apple's payment launch partners, notes that the service will be up and running beginning Monday, October 20th, says 9to5Mac.

"We are excited to share that Apple is very close to releasing Apple Pay."

"We are excited to share that Apple is very close to releasing Apple Pay and actually planning to launch on October 20th," the memo reads. "With the release of Apple Pay, we expect customers coming in to use Apple Pay, as well as an increase in other customers coming in to use other types of Tap & Pay like Google Wallet or SoftCard." The memo goes on to note that some locations may not receive point of sale units that work with those options until the launch day.

Apple Pay lets people store certain credit cards inside of Passbook, and use the NFC chip and TouchID fingerprint reader to send that information to capable terminals. Apple also plans to make the feature backwards compatible with non-TouchID devices going back to the iPhone 5 by using the NFC chip that will be included in its upcoming Apple Watch.

Panera was named as one of several partners, along with Starbucks, Target, Staples, OpenTable, Disney, and Uber, with Apple now saying that it plans to be ready in 220,000 retail locations when the service goes live. Several leaked documents, including one for McDonalds, have shown how retailers are preparing to get their sales systems ready for the technology when it's very likely enabled with iOS 8.1. Apple's expected to detail that software, and more details about Apple Pay at its iPad event tomorrow.