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Apple Pay in Europe: Visa to add crucial security element to cards

Published Feb 24th, 2015 6:50AM EST
Apple Pay Visa Europe Launch
Image: Apple Inc.

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It’s only a matter of time until Apple’s iPhone and Watch payment system will be available in other markets than the U.S., and Visa Europe confirmed it’s rolling out a crucial security feature for cards issued in Europe, which seems to pave the way for an imminent Apple Pay launch in the region, at least according to a new Reuters report.

FROM EARLIER: Has Google found the secret for giving Google Wallet new life?

Visa Europe said that by mid-April it’ll introduce a tokenization service that adds further security to card transactions, including future Apple Pay payments, by using random numbers instead of card details when payment data is transmitted by a merchant.

Even though Visa Europe would not confirm Apple’s Pay launch plans for the region, similar security features are already used in the U.S., where the iPhone 6 payment service is  available. Local financial institutions, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express, are also using similar technology.

“Apple and Visa (Inc) have an agreement around what has happened,” Visa Europe’s chief digital officer Steve Perry said. “I am as excited as anyone, but we have to wait.”

Visa Europe is an independent company from the U.S. Visa Inc, and currently has more than 500 million cards in circulation, from more than 3,700 European banks.

Meanwhile, Apple’s Pay service has become extremely popular, with the iPhone maker revealing last month that more than two out of three dollars spent using wireless payments technology come from Apple Pay use in the past three months.

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.