Today's Apple announcements came with a bit of news for diners: Apple Pay — Apple's proprietary virtual wallet application — is expanding in a big way. The company says it will be accepted at 700,000 retail and restaurant locations by this spring, as Engaget notes. New to the list are about 100,000 Coca-Cola vending machines.
When Apple Pay launched last fall, McDonald's, Subway, and other chains were among the first to sign up to support the service. Earlier this year, USA Technologies — a provider of wireless payments for vending machines — announced that 200,000 of their new models would accept Apple Pay. About 20,000 Coca-Cola vending machines currently support Apple Pay, according to Verge.
Though CEO Tim Cook believes this is the year for Apple Pay, many start-ups offering similar wireless payment options to diners have sprung up in recent months. And Apple has not immediately made clear how the technology could benefit or be used by independent restaurant operators. Until then, apps like OpenTable Pay and Cover are growing their roster of carriers and signing on new users in droves.