Announced during the iPhone 6 event, Apple Pay represents Apple’s new take on contactless mobile payments, but the exclusive iPhone and Apple Watch feature will only be available to users starting in October (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) and in early 2015 (Apple Watch and supported iPhones that can be connected to the wearable device). And there’s another huge catch: the service will roll out to U.S. customers only at first, as Apple has yet to detail international expansion plans.
As it turns out, the technology is coming to Europe too, The Financial Times has learned.
Apple is already in negotiations with local banks and credit card companies to bring Apple Pay to Europe, and while the iPhone maker will not comment on the matter, Visa Europe actually confirmed the talks.
“We are working closely with Apple and with our member banks to bring this new service to market in Europe,” chief digital officer at Visa Europe told the Times.
The publication notes that Europe might be even more prepared to welcome wireless payments than the U.S., as the infrastructure is a lot more evolved in the region.
Some 100 million contactless cards are already in users’ hands in Europe, which represents 20% of all payment cards. More importantly, there are some 1.5 million terminals that can accept those cards, and therefore are compatible with Apple Pay too, as Visa Europe started deploying them in 2007.
Even so, contactless payments are yet to take off in Europe as well, as customers still have security concerns regarding this payment practice.
For Apple, Apple Pay will become a new source of revenue, as the company is reportedly getting a cut of all Apple Pay transactions, while also enjoying lower rates. Apple struck many deals with card issuers for the Apple Pay launch, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express and banks, making sure that most debit and credit cards will work with Apple Pay.