Why it matters that the federal government will accept Apple Pay

Gigaom

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke before President Barack Obama at a cybersecurity summit at Stanford University on Friday, and he was able to slip a few major Apple Pay announcements into his talk reiterating his commitment to privacy.

There were two big Apple Pay developments from today’s talk: First, Apple Pay will be “available for many transactions with the federal government.” Cook specifically cited paying for admission at national parks, but it’s not hard to imagine Apple Pay support expanded to the gift shop at the Smithsonian, for instance, or for foreigners paying fees for visa applications. The federal government will begin to accept Apple Pay starting in September, but whether you will be able to use your iPhone to pay Uncle Sam on September 1st probably depends on how the government procures NFC-enabled point-of-sale systems, so it could take a while.

The second announcement is a much bigger…

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