The federal government of the United States is picking up support for Apple Pay, on both sides of the equation. Not only are Apple Pay-compatible payment terminals coming to your friendly neighborhood federal government agency office, but the federal government is poised to start paying for things with Apple Pay as well.
The federal government actually has their own credit cards to employees for official expenses (GSA SmartPay from the General Services Administration) as well as Direct Express debit cards given to those receiving Social Security and veterans benefits payments. And the government's working on making those cards Apple Pay compatible.
So all the parties involved are working to make this happen:
Apple, Visa, MasterCard, Comerica Bank and U.S. Bank are committed to working together to make Apple Pay, a tokenized, encrypted service, available for users of federal payment cards, including DirectExpress and GSA SmartPay cards.
As you can imagine, with the federal government involved this likely won't happen quickly or simply. Your author has used a GSA SmartPay card before to purchase fuel for a government vehicle and, let me tell you, it's a process (there's a code on the card that you have to enter at the pump, and it also demands the mileage of the vehicle that's associated with that card — yes, the card's issued to a vehicle and not a person). But it's a good sign to see even the federal government looking at an emerging technology like contactless payments and wanting to hop on the bandwagon.