Apple Pay isn't just for credit cards. Today at WWDC, the company has announced it will integrate rewards programs and store-issued credit cards into Apple Pay, and that Passbook will be renamed Wallet. Goodbye, Passbook, we hardly knew ye.
Let's talk about rewards cards first. Starting this fall with iOS 9, Apple Pay will supportWalgreens Balance Rewards, Kohl's, Coca-Cola, Dunkin' Donuts, Panera Bread, and Wegmans. You can store and add them as you would credit cards. (Apple Pay will reportedly select the right rewards card automatically when you hold it up to the store's reader.) Soon-to-be-supported store-issue cards include BJ’s Wholesale Club, Kohl’s Department Stores and JCPenney.
As for where you can use Apple Pay, the new iOS 9 Maps app will also show you which merchants support Apple. Speaking more broadly, Apple Pay is coming to the UK next month, launching with "eight of the most popular banks... more coming this fall."
Apple Pay launched last October for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (and later Apple Watch) supporting most major credit cards — Discover joins this fall, which according to the latest press release means Apple Pay will support credit and debit cards "representing 98 percent of all credit card purchase volume in the US." Though it's not the first digital payment system in the US, it's certainly the most ubiquitous for now. Apple could soon be facing serious competition, however, with Samsung Pay and Google's Android Pay initiative both coming this year.