October 16, 2014

Last month Apple revealed Apple Pay, a mobile payment system that riffs off the same NFC-based technologies first used by Google Wallet. Today, as part of a larger announcement by Apple, it was announced that Apple Pay will be coming online starting this Monday—with a slew of travel-related partners that are impossible to ignore.

Apple Pay has two main components: tap-to-pay systems that will be built into brick-and-mortar stores (Whole Foods, Bloomingdales), and a digital version that’s built into third party apps for instant payment. Among the places you’ll soon see it are Airbnb, Passbook, OpenTable, and StubHub—along with dozens of others. What that means? With your credit card info stored into Apple Pay (500 banks are on board already), your payment to any of these companies will be confirmed instantly and securely, without requiring you to repeatedly enter your personal information for each purchase. The simplicity and convenience factors are significant, encouraging entire travel companies to jump aboard, including Starwood and Walt Disney World—and if these are any indication, Apple Pay will soon become a ubiquitous way to handle travel transactions across the board.

As long as you have iOS8 installed on your phone—and nearly half of iPhone users do, says Apple—then Apple Pay is yours for the using starting next week.

Nikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

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