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More US banks switch on Apple Pay support

The next wave of US banks has switched on support for Apple Pay, allowing their customers to add credit and debit cards to iOS 8 devices for mobile and contactless payments.

A second wave of card issuers are beginning to activate support for the iPhone-powered mobile payment system Apple Pay.

At the launch of Apple Pay in the US on 20 October, customers of some of the biggest banks such as Bank of America, Chase, and Citi were able to add their credit and debit cards to Apple's payment system.

As of Monday, the second wave of card issuers officially began letting customers add their cards to iOS 8 devices to use Apple Pay. As MacRumors noted, first up was the Navy Federal Credit Union, which yesterday announced Apple Pay support for its credit and debit cards. The credit union has five million customers who work in the Department of Defense or Coast Guard.

US Bancorp also announced Apple Pay could be used by customers of US Bank, while its payments subsidiary Elevon is offering retailers EMV compliant terminal upgrades that also support Apple Pay.

PNC Bank, which has around six million consumer and small business customers in the US, also switched on support for Apple Pay yesterday.

Other financial services firms that appear to be nearly ready to activate Apple Pay for their customers include Barclaycard US and several other regional credit unions and banks, according to MacRumors. ZDNet has contacted Barclaycard to confirm reports that its cards can already be added to Apple Pay.

Apple's payment system went live with support in place from American Express, Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo.

Apple Pay reduces exposure to fraud at pay terminals by allowing card holders to add their card numbers to Passbook. In place of card numbers at the time of a transaction, a unique device identifier is used.

While the addition of new banks adds mometum to Apple Pay, the other challenge Apple faces is gaining the support of retailers, despite some major brands already being on board, including McDonalds, Toys R Us, and Walgreens.

Two US pharmacy chains, CVS and Rite Aid, caused a stir last week when it appeared they would forgo Apple Pay in favour of the payments system CurrentC, which is being developed by the Merchants Customer Exchange consortium. Apple CEO Tim Cook has called their resistance a "skirmish" .