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Apple Pay Registered One Million Credit Cards in First 72 Hours

Apple Pay users uploaded one million credit cards in the first three days of the service.

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code

As they do with the iPhone and iPad, Apple users are flocking to Apple’s other new product from the past month: Apple Pay.

Apple Pay users activated more than one million credit cards in the first 72 hours after the service was launched, according to CEO Tim Cook, marking a substantial first step for Apple’s foray into the payments business.

Apple Pay works when users upload their credit card information to their phone, enabling them to check out at retailers without the need for carrying physical credit cards or cash. Apple Pay is significant to the company in that it provides a new business vertical for Apple — and if successful, will add another differentiator between the iPhone and its smartphone competitors.

“We’re just getting started but the early ramp looks fantastic,” Cook said at the Wall Street Journal Digital Conference Monday in Laguna Beach, Calif.

Despite early adoption, it hasn’t been all roses for Apple Pay in its first week. Over the weekend, national drug store chains CVS and Rite Aid halted support for Apple Pay. Both chains are members of the Merchant Customer Exchange, a joint retail venture set to launch its own mobile payment service some time next year that will compete directly with Apple Pay.

Why compete with Apple? Retailers hope that using their own payment system will cost them less, minimizing transaction fees.

For Apple, it’s the first step in a new business line, and speed bumps like evolving retail partnerships are bound to crop up. But early adoption of Apple Pay means that people are at least intrigued enough to experiment with mobile payments, an area that many have already operated in but no one has really nailed.

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