Mobile payments aren’t exactly new, even if all previous attempts to kill the wallet have failed miserably. Now that Apple Pay is available to all iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users, however, mobile payments are heating up. Banks, stores, and companies are jumping on the bandwagon and eagerly pledging their support for Apple Pay.
It seems as if new partners are joining every day, so we’ve put together this handy list of all the major partners, which we’ll update as more are added. Here are all the brands and countries that support Apple Pay.
Initially, Apple Pay only worked in the United States, but Apple is interested in bringing the service to users in many countries. In April, Apple added Singapore to the list of countries that support Apple Pay. Australia, Canada, the U.K., and China have all joined the list of countries where Apple Pay is live. Hong Kong and Spain should also get the service soon.
In Singapore, only American Express cards are supported at launch, but Apple says it’s working with Visa to get Singapore’s biggest banks onboard with credit and debit card support. The company expects to add DBS, UOB, and Standard Chartered to the mix in the coming months.
Although cracking the Chinese payments market is considered extremely tough, Apple Pay got a boost from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which is the biggest lender in the country, Reuters reported. In total, Apple has 19 of China’s biggest banks on-board, and around 80 percent of Chinese credit and debit cards will work on the service from the get-go. The main disadvantage Apple faces in the country is the prevalence of other mobile payment services like Alibaba’s AliPay, WeChat, and UnionPay.
Another report from iGeneration hinted that France may get Apple Pay in June of 2016 and possibly Spain, though no date was mentioned.
The first country to get Apple Pay other than the States was the U.K. You can read our full guide to Apple Pay in the U.K. here. Now, the payment system also works in Canada and Australia, albeit in a limited capacity.
Only Canadians and Australians with American Express cards can use the service at present, but AmEx cards that have been co-branded with banks won’t work. The Sydney Morning Herald says there are 6.8 million AmEx cards out of 42 million credit cards in the country, which is pretty decent.
It’s also unclear how many stores in Canada and Australia will support Apple Pay, though Tim Hortons, Indigo, McDonald’s, Petro Canada, and Staples were mentioned for Canada. In Australia, the stores include David Jones, Myer, McDonald’s, K-Mart, Telstra, Coles, Woolworths, Target, Starbucks, Officeworks, Hoyts, Zara, Bunnings, and Shell. Other banks and stores will likely join the service soon in both countries.
In mid-October, TD Canada Trust accidentally leaked that Apple Pay would arrive as early as November. The bank quickly apologized for the mistake on is website, but this leak could indicate that TD Canada Trust will soon be a partner.
Related: Square now accepts Apple Pay and Android Pay in 100 local businesses and counting
Earlier on, sources stated that Apple is in talks with Canada’s six biggest banks, which account for 90 percent of all bank accounts in the country, to bring the mobile payment service to their customers, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and National Bank of Canada, were all mentioned in the report.
Apparently, the banks may launch Apple Pay at different times, unnamed sources said, because some have bigger concerns over Apple’s requirements than others. Apparently, Apple may charge Canadian banks more to use Apple Pay than it charges American banks. Another sticking point may be worries over security and fraud. Some banks want to require the use of a PIN number in addition to the Apple Pay process, which is authorized with a fingerprint scan. Naturally, Apple may object to that request, if it’s made, because it will slow down the mobile payment process.
In Australia, transaction fees seem to be a sore point, too, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. In the U.S., Apple reportedly gets about 15 cents on every $100 spent. In Australia, most banks charge a smaller transaction fee of just 50 cents per $100 spent, and in the U.S., that number is $1 for every $100 spent. The Herald report states that Apple is demanding the same cut of the transaction fee in Australia that it gets in America, even though the fees are different.
Similar objections have been raised by other countries, including China. Australian banks are also concerned that Apple Pay may distract customers away from their new products. However, the biggest reason why Australian banks are leery of the deal seems to be that they have to pay money into a fund called the New Payments Platform, which aims to bring a new payment option to Australian customers and businesses. The banks worry that Apple pay may be included in the new system without having to pay its fair share to join. These issues could be resolved, though.
Additionally, Visa Europe stated that it is working with Apple to bring the feature to Europe as soon as possible. On February 24, Visa Europe announced the launch of something called “tokenisation,” a super secure way of conducting mobile payments without exposing card and account details. Beyond that, it’s easily disabled in the event of a phone being stolen.
Tokenization was a key driver in Apple Pay’s launch in the U.S., and is in use by Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Its official introduction in Europe indicate’s Visa is making sure it’s prepared for Apple Pay’s eventual launch, which may by hastened by this important step. According to the press release, Visa tokenization will be online in mid-April.
In mid-December, a pair of job postings popped up on Apple’s website for a London-based intern who would “drive the roll-out” of Apple’s new mobile payment system across Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa. The post was spotted by iClarified before Apple removed it. The intern would be responsible for forging partnerships with “payment networks and merchants across Europe,” the job description reads. Based on this report, it seems likely that Apple Pay will arrive in Europe relatively soon.