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Apple Pay works in countries outside the U.S. with this simple trick

Published Oct 21st, 2014 3:46PM EDT
Apple Pay: How to Activate and Use
Image: Apple Inc.

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Activated via the recent iOS 8.1 update, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus’ new contactless payment functionality better known as Apple Pay is only available to U.S. customers at this time, at least according to Apple. But MacRumors reveals that Apple Pay also works internationally, but a small trick is required to enable it.

FROM EARLIER: A guide to setting up Apple Pay on your iPhone or iPad

In order to pay for goods using a shiny new iPhone 6 in international markets where stores accept NFC payments, users have to make sure they have access to a supported U.S.-based credit card. To set it up, users also need to set the United States as their home country, at which point they’ll be able to enable Apple Pay and set up their cards in Passbook.

Even still, international users who have access to U.S. credit cards might want to stay away from using them in international markets to avoid potential additional costs. But this discovery is still important because it means that American iPhone 6 owners traveling abroad will still be able to use Apple Pay in those international stores where NFC payment terminals are already deployed, without having to do anything. They’re already using U.S. credit cards and have the United States set up as their home country.

Previous reports have suggested that Apple is exploring launching Apple Pay in Europe and China, and it’s likely the service will be available in more markets in the future, as Apple inks deals with local banks and financial institutions.

According to Apple’s statements during its iPad event last week, U.S. banks and certain retailers can’t wait to support Apple Pay, and it’s likely that financial institutions and stores in other markets are also interested in seeing NFC payments finally take off.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.