Skip to main content

Apple Pay finally ventures beyond US and UK, heads to Canada and Australia

apple pay australian banks feud
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Apple Pay has been up and running for a full year now, but the Cupertino company has been slow rolling it out to locations beyond the U.S. In fact, besides its home country, Apple has only taken its mobile payments and digital wallet service across the pond to the UK. That changed in November, when two new regions were added to the contactless mobile payment service.

Updated on 11-20-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news Apple Pay has launched in Canada and Australia, but with a key restriction

After a tentative start, the tech giant is ready to finally ramp up the rollout of Apple Pay. In late October, CEO Tim Cook confirmed the service would soon launch in Canada and Australia before the end of the year, with Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain following in early 2016. However, you’ll need an American Express card to use it.

At the end of November, Apple added Canada and Australia to the Apple Pay map, but only for customers using an American Express card. According to Apple’s VP of Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey, this is because Amex is both the issuer and payment operator, making the partnership a simpler one to organize. In Australia, American Express is promoting the service on its own website, using it as a way to encourage people to sign-up for a card.

American Express is taken in far fewer locations internationally than Visa or MasterCard.

Rollout continues, but user numbers are unclear

Apple Pay, which launched in the U.S. in October 2014, allows people to pay for stuff in-store or online using newer iDevices. The service rolled out to users in the U.K in July, with most major banks and credit card providers in the country now on board.

It’s not clear how many people are using Apple Pay as the company has chosen to withhold such information. An AppleInsider report over the summer, however, highlighted a study indicating “the number of eligible Apple Pay users who tried the service dropped from 15.1 percent in March to 13.1 percent in June.” The disappointing figures came despite healthy sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which are both compatible with Apple Pay.

Another issue for the tech firm is getting retailers to sign up to its service, with a Reuters study among 100 leading U.S. retail businesses finding that 66 percent had no intention of accepting Apple Pay this year.

Still, mobile payments are here to stay, with more companies – Google, Samsung, and JP Morgan among them – diving into the market with their own offerings, a reality that’ll have all the major players competing to offer the best possible service for consumers looking to cast aside the cards and cash.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Fortnite finally comes back to Apple devices via GeForce Now
Spider-Man in Fortnite.

Nvidia announced today that it's bringing Fortnite back to Apple platforms with an open beta on Android and iOS devices through its cloud gaming service, Nvidia GeForce Now. This limited-time testing will take place on the Nvidia GeForce Now Android app and the iOS Safari web browser. Note that it's the Apple web browser, not an app.

GeForce Now members can sign up for the open beta before it starts next week. However, there's limited space available, so everyone who signs up won't necessarily receive an invite. Those who want to participate but don't yet have a Nvidia GeForce Now account can sign up for free.

Read more
The EU plans to escalate its Apple Pay investigation next year
Apple Pay sticker on a payment terminal

Apple is coming under fire in the European Union over its use of NFC in iPhones. The company debuted the feature with the iPhone 6, but restricted its use to enabling Apple Pay's mobile payment feature. The EU is reportedly preparing to file charges over this, with the intent of forcing Apple to open up its NFC chip to third parties, according to a Reuters report.

Mobile payments are an essential part of how modern smartphones are used, with both Google and Apple leading the charge on their respective mobile operating systems. While Android allows for some third-party integration -- Samsung Pay comes to mind -- Apple locks the use of NFC to its own Apple Pay solution. Not only does this mean that third-party payment providers can't operate on iPhones, but NFC capabilities like quick sharing effectively don't exist on the iPhone.

Read more
PayPal vs. Google Pay vs. Venmo vs. Cash App vs. Apple Pay Cash

Money makes the world go 'round. Whether you owe a friend for drinks or you need to send rent money to your roommate, the easier it is to transfer money to friends and family, the better.

With modern technology, there are plenty of great options for sending money to others. Sure, PayPal may be the best-known of these services, but it's certainly not the only one. Google reorganized Android Pay and Google Wallet into a single service called Google Pay. Then there's Venmo, which has skyrocketed in popularity, and Cash App, built by payment company Square. Perhaps it was a little late to the game, but we can't forget about Apple Pay Cash.

Read more