You would have to be living in cave recently not to have heard all the hype around Apple's (AAPL) new payment system called Apple Pay. The system is ushering in a new era of mobile payments, and while Apple will surely come out as the biggest winner, there are plenty of other companies that stand to benefit as mobile payments grow.
The idea behind Apple Pay is pretty straight-forward. If you own one of the enabled Apple devices, which include the new iPhone, upcoming Apple Watch, and a couple of iPad models, you can set up Apple Pay to purchase goods or services with a simple touch of your phone, or other device.
Setting up the service is simple, and requires users to take a snapshot of their card. Once Apple verifies the card information, you are free to use Apple Pay anywhere it is accepted.
While it is still unclear just how popular the new mobile payment system will become, early indications are strong that it will be a success. In just the first 72 hours it was available, Apple reported that it had already activated over 1 million credit cards for Apple Pay, and the service is already available at over 200,000 stores.
There may come a day when we cannot remember a time when we had to actually use real money, or a credit card, to make purchases. The day will come when the only thing we need to carry around with us is a phone or watch, and Apple is ushering that day upon us with Apple Pay. It is likely to change the world, and the following companies really stand to benefit from the changes taking place.