Wells Fargo offers $20 to customers using Apple Pay; one million bank cards already loaded

Wells Fargo offers $20 to customers using Apple Pay; one million bank cards already loaded

Apple may be having trouble winning over retailers to its mobile payments platform but bank support shows no sign of waning as Wells Fargo offers $20 to customers who sign up for Apple Pay.

Wells Fargo's inducement - which applies to customers who load their cards onto their iPhones and use them to make a payment between now and the end of November - comes just days after of two of the biggest pharmacy chains in the US disabled NFC terminals in an attempt to shut out Apple Pay ahead of the launch of retailer-backed platform CurrentC in 2015.

CurrentC lead retailer WalMart is also not accepting Apple Pay, preferring to throw its weight behind its own mobile payment and loyalty platform, which will bypass credit card networks and save the company significant sums in interchange fees.

Wells Fargo credit card customers will receive $20 credits on their statements within 1-2 billing cycles after their first purchase with Apple Pay, while debit and prepaid customers will receive $10 credits on their linked Wells Fargo current accounts within 45 days.

Wells Fargo has been particularly active in trying to build momentum for Apple Pay, using a network of pop-up branches to help customers activate their cards during the launch event as banks jostle to be 'top-of-wallet on iPhone screens.

Speaking at a Wall Street Journal technology conference last night Apple CEO Tim Cook dismissed retailer gripes about the system as a "skirmish" and said that in its first 72 hours, Apple Pay had activated 1 million cards.

"Merchants have different objectives sometimes," Cook told the conference. "But in the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or merchant if your customers love you."

Cook also highlighted future growth plans for the service, including a potential tie-up with Chinese ecommerce firm Alibaba, and the use of the handset for building access and transit ticketing.

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