Federal payment cards for Social Security and veterans benefits, usually distributed as debit cards, will now be enabled for use with Apple Pay, the White House announced Friday.
The announcement came as President Barack Obama made a visit to Silicon Valley for a summit he convened on cybersecurity.
Apple CEO Tim Cook also made a speech ahead of the summit saying that privacy protection is extremely important in a world where people can face dire consequences when details of their private lives become known.
The federal government’s move to enable Apple Pay on benefit payment cards is widely seen as an endorsement of the payment app, and a huge win for Apple.
Meanwhile, CEO Tim Cook also announced that the payment system will be available this September at national parks, and for other transactions with the federal government. The moves will likely help accelerate the adoption of mobile payments in general, but certainly Apple Pay in particular. Still, the actual long-term cybersecurity value of the system remains largely untested.