Apple Pay Launches in Belgium and Kazakhstan
As expected, Apple Pay launched in Belgium today, allowing bank card users in the country to take advantage of the contactless mobile payment system if their card issuer supports it.
In this case, the region's Apple Pay launch has taken the form of an exclusive partnership with BNP Paribas Fortis and its subsidiary brands Fintro and Hello Bank.
It's possible that other banks in Belgium will support Apple's digital wallet further down the line, but currently we don't have any specific details regarding future rollouts. Apple Pay can be used on iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, as well as Mac models with Touch ID and Macs released in 2012 or later in combination with an iPhone or Apple Watch.
Also today, Apple Pay launched in Kazakhstan. The rollout there comes to Eurasian Bank, Halyk Bank, ForteBank, Sberbank, Bank CenterCredit, and ATFBank cardholders, with Mastercard and Visa variously supported. Around 65 percent of card terminals in the country already support contactless payments, according to Forbes, with banks actively expanding the terminal network with NFC technology.
Belgium and Kazakhstan become the 30th and 31st region where Apple Pay is officially available. Apple Pay is also set to launch in Germany this year and is "coming soon" to Saudi Arabia, according to Apple.com.
Apple Pay first launched in the United States in October 2014 and has since expanded to many other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore, Switzerland, France, Japan, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia, New Zealand, Brazil, Poland, Ireland, and Ukraine.
(Thanks, Henry and Dmitry!)