Onstage at today's Apple event, Tim Cook announced some big new numbers for the company's payment service. It went from partnering with 500 banks to 2,500. And in the last three months it nearly tripled the merchants accepting Apple Pay, now reaching nearly 700,000 locations around the US. He also mentioned one unique location that is growing fast. According to Cook, Apple Pay is currently accepted at 40,000 Coke vending machines, and the soda giant plans to grow that to 100,000 this year.
"Apple Pay has forever changed the way we pay for things," Cook said today. "It has gotten off to the most amazing start and has enormous momentum."
The announcement led to some jokes online. Steve Jobs famously recruited John Sculley from Pepsi by asking him, "Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?"
Apple Pay and Coke machines: Apple CEO is selling sugar water again.— John Gruber (@gruber) March 9, 2015
Over the last week there have been multiple reports about rising fraud on Apple Pay. The core issue isn't security on Apple's platform, but the ease with which criminals can get credit cards provisioned using stolen personal information. It's a loophole in the process employed by the banks and is proving attractive for fraudsters, since Apple Pay can easily be used to then make credit card purchases in the real world.
These two stories — huge growth and an increase in fraud — are really different sides of the same coin. Apple Pay has seen incredible uptake from consumers, so not surprisingly it's also become a popular target for criminals.
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