Apple 'Working Rapidly' to Bring Apple Pay to More Countries

Apple this morning elaborated on its plans to expand Apple Pay coverage and achieve its goal to deliver the mobile payment service to "every significant market" the company is involved in.

Currently Apple Pay is available in six countries, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and China, with plans already underway to bring the platform to Hong Kong and Spain. Earlier this week the service expanded its presence in Singapore to support five major banks and cover over 80 percent of cards, and VP of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey says many more rollouts are on the way.

apple pay wwdc 2015
Speaking to TechCrunch, Bailey said that Apple is "working rapidly" in Asia and Europe to extend the service, stopping short of revealing which country would be next. But she did share some insight into what Apple is seeking when it assesses potential expansions.

"First, we look at the size of the market for Apple products," she said. "We also look at credit and debit card penetration, and [existing] contactless payment coverage.

"[But] when we bring Apple Pay to market even when contactless is low, it will grow — it was 4 percent in the U.S. but is now 20 percent. We also work with our network partners, where we can utilize integration with Amex and Visa, to go to market quickly."

Commenting on China, Bailey said that the service's launch in February had been "really successful" and Apple was "seeing incredible user and developer reception", with a number of prominent consumer tech companies integrating the service into their apps to enable digital payments.

In March, it was reported that the service hit three million provisions inside the country in its first three days. The launch initially covered 12 bank locations across China and that number has now risen to 19. In the U.S., Apple Pay began in October 2014 with support across six bank locations. It now covers 2,500, and the company reportedly has designs on bringing the service to ATMs in the near future.

Apple is also focused on introducing loyalty programs to other markets, having completed its first rollouts in the U.S. Similarly, Apple is working to expand support for online and in-app payments in all markets.

Back in February, leaks suggested that France, Hong Kong, and Brazil are on Apple's expansion list for this year, while CEO Tim Cook hinted this week that India could also be set to get the mobile payment service soon.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Top Rated Comments

daanodinot Avatar
106 months ago
Unless you live in the Bay Area or something, there are so many features that Apple releases, but 99% of the people never get to use. I live in the Netherlands and have yet to use:

* Apple Pay
* Public transport info in Maps (and Flyover, for what it's worth)
* Apple News
* Siri on the Apple TV
* And for that matter, Dutch Siri on iOS, because searching English titles with Dutch Siri is absolute crap
* Spotlight Natural Language search on the Mac

And that excludes all the the iOS features that Apple introduces, and 99% of the apps never get to use anyway. Apple is great at introducing new features all the time, but having them make any meaningful impact is proving to be very hard for them.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thmsup Avatar
106 months ago
I don't see Germany getting this any time soon unfortunately. ... The amount of people who love paying in cash and searching for every last penny to pay EXACTLY the amount the cashier asked for is way too high.

Especially old people... its just a pain in the a**. My nana who is 87 will turn 88 at the register - I bet she will, because thats how long it takes her to get her pennies together.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannilundgren Avatar
106 months ago
I really don't understand why Apple Pay isn't launched in Denmark. WE ARE READY, and have been for years. My credit card is contactless, and i can nearly use it everywhere, even my phone. We have MobilePay and Swipp for the smartphone, and soon we get an electronic Dankort(common national payment card) too, on our smartphones. If Apple Pay should a chance in Denmark, they have to step forward now, or it is too late.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
infantrytrophy Avatar
106 months ago
Honeslty, I am serious. I am no ICT engineer, but I live with the assumption everything is hackable.
My MacBook air has been hacked, even though I thought my machine was unhackable. Didn't lose anything, but heck it was a scary moment.
I use only use bank cards and cash to make purchases. In rare occasions credit cards (mostly when I am abroad or doing purchases online because I have no other option)
Your instincts are good, but - due respect - your conclusions are not.

Yes, systems are hackable. That's why so many data systems have been breached - Target, Home Depot, TJX (parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Home Goods, etc.), U.S. Government Office of Personnel Management, Sony, Anthem, and many others.

Here is the crucial point >>> When you use your old "swipe"-type card (debit or credit), your information is captured in the merchant's system. Your information (name, card number and more) is now only as secure as the merchant's data system, which we know from experience may not be secure at all.

Apple Pay is more secure than old swipe-type credit cards and debit cards. When you use Apple Pay, only a single-use token is captured by the merchant's data system. Your information is not transmitted to the merchant (that's why so many merchants are resisting - see below). The merchant gets paid based on the token, so your data remains secure, or at least much more secure than the merchant's data systems have been historically.

Another secure feature of Apple Pay is the immediate feedback. When you make an Apple Pay transaction, the merchant and charge amount are immediately displayed on your phone.

When you mentioned "bank cards", I assume that you referred to debit cards. Debit cards are, in my opinion, very risky. Debit card transactions are immediately deducted from your bank account. Maybe your bank will be cooperative in reversing a fraudulent transaction. Or maybe not. In either case, your bank account balance is affected, likely resulting in bounced check fees, overdraft fees, low balance fees or worse.

Fraudulent transactions using credit cards do not affect your bank account balance. You pay from your bank account only after you see the credit card statement, with plenty of time to challenge unauthorized charges.

You mentioned insecurity of "public networks" in your post #17. This appears to refer to wi-fi networks. Apple Pay uses NFC, which works only when your device is within inches of the payment terminal. This is different from public wi-fi. Further, communication with NFC authenticates with your phone's Secure Enclave. This is hardware, hard-wired in your phone accessible only by your fingerprint. Even if your phone were hacked, through public wi-fi in your example, your Secure Enclave would not be hacked.

Final comments: Some merchants (Walmart, Target and others) do not accept Apple Pay because they prefer a competing system that allows merchants to collect - and use - your identity and data. This compromises security, of course, but the merchants don't care. This is disgusting, in my opinion. One competing system, CurrentC, is promoted by MCX, a consortium including Walmart, 7-Eleven, Target and many others. CurrentC works by directly accessing your bank account and is much more awkward to use than Apple Pay. Fortunately CurrentC appears to be floundering, but many of the MCX-affiliated merchants still do not accept Apple Pay.

Apple Pay's design fundamentally improves your security and privacy, compared to old debit and credit cards and compared to competing systems such as CurrentC. Respectfully, I recommend that you discontinue use of your debit card and use Apple Pay or one of the new chip-enabled credit cards.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Roller Avatar
106 months ago
How about bringing Apple Pay to the U.S.? I'm being facetious, but deployment here is still limited. Some of the retailers shown on Apple's Apple Pay page don't fully support it. For example, Chevron has been listed for more than a year, but I've yet to find a gas station that actually has it at the pump. And at Subway, the terminals are often inaccessible.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bpcookson Avatar
106 months ago
How about bringing Apple Pay to more stores so people can use it in the countries that have it already? Physical credit cards are getting old quick...
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)