Northwest Credit Unions Rolling Out Apple Pay

Today BECU is bringing Apple Pay to its members, rolling out the iPhone-based payment solution for its business and consumer credit cards and consumer debit cards. Northwest credit unions have been quick to adopt the new contactless payment technology, with several preparing to offer it to members in the coming weeks and months.

Ken Myhra, BECU’s director of payments, said that Apple Pay offers the right mix of consumer demand and thoughtful security solutions for their members. “If you dive into the tech, without getting too geeky,” Myhra said, “Apple did a great job of combining a number of security solutions that used to only exist in silos, and made them work well together.”

Myhra cited the combination of the iPhone’s fingerprint scanner and the tokenization technology that underpins Apple Pay’s secure payments. “As stated in Carmine Gallo’s book Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs,” noted Myhra, “Jobs didn’t invent anything, he just made things work well together. Apple Pay is really simple with an interface that’s easy to use.”

Myhra also noted the hundreds of millions of mobile Apple devices in use. “With that many devices out there and that many cards on file,” he said, “the consumer has the potential to push Apple Pay over the tipping point.”

The tipping point he references is the race to see which technology becomes the de facto payment solution of the next generation, like swiping a credit card is today. Mobile phone-based payment technologies are not new, but Apple Pay has already eclipsed those that came before it.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an earnings call on January 27 that, even though it was only launched several months ago, Apple Pay already accounts for $2 out of every $3 spent using contactless payments. “We are more confident than ever that 2015 will be the year of Apple Pay,” Cook said.

Rivermark Community Credit Union is also preparing to roll out Apple Pay to its members. “Our members expect more self-service payment options, new forms of authentication and security to improve their overall mobile banking experience,” said David Noble, Rivermark’s Marketing Leader.

“We are laser focused on investing in leading edge mobile technology,” Noble continued, “and partnering with those who will drive commerce in the digital world.”

BECU’s Myhra said that Apple Pay is a great opportunity for credit unions. “2015 is a huge moment of change for payments,” he said, “Apple Pay, chip and pin, tokenization. This is a chance for even small credit unions to level the playing field with the big banks.”

He said that it’s important for credit unions to keep up with these technologies. “Tokenization in and of itself is a big leap forward with safety, soundness and security,” he said. “And as a movement, it’s important our members have access the best, most secure technologies.”

A number of other Northwest credit unions are bringing Apple Pay to their members as well. Please update us on your Apple Pay plans by emailing James Pearson at

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

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