A new report French website iGen indicates that France could be seeing an Apple Pay announcement in as early as the first half of this year. While Apple announced the UnionPay partnership for China two months ago, there has yet to be any signs that other additional countries outside the US and UK (aside from Australia and Canada’s American Express arrangement) would be seeing Apple Pay any time soon. Other reports believe that China could be seeing Apple Pay, which is promised to go live in early 2016, activated as soon as this Thursday at 5 AM (Beijing time).
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France’s rumored Apple Pay announcement could be discussed during this year’s WWDC in June, but as negotiations are still occurring, when exactly users will be able to utilize the contactless-pay system in stores remains a question. With France potentially on deck to receive Apple Pay this year, it’s likely Apple could be focusing on other European countries as well.
The initial launch in the United States met competitors and retailers that were contractually obligated not to support the new payment system, slowing down users who wanted to use the system everywhere. Contactless payment systems are already widespread across Europe and beyond, however, so adoption should be less controversial.
Chinese banks already seem to be fully accepting of the systems launch as even a bank’s WeChat account is confirming Thursday’s launch.
China Guangfa Bank is responding to inquiries about Apple Pay explaining that it will be available on February 18th at 5 AM and that users should be running iOS 9.2 and watchOS 2.1 to start using the service.
Hello, the Apple company, China UnionPay jointly confirmed, Apple Pay service will be held February 18 at 5:00 formally launched. In case the card can not be loaded Please try again later, iPhone / iPad system needs OS9.2 above, Apple Watch OS2.1…
As companies make accepting Apple Pay even easier, it would only benefit end users to have Apple Pay accepted in more and more countries. As there are now 2 million accepting locations and 5 million contactless-pay ready terminals in Apple Pay accepting countries, bringing in China (and France, hopefully later this year) will significantly expand Apple Pay’s footprint and threshold.
Further discoveries today are also pointing to the possibility that Canada’s Interac may be coming to Apple Pay as well. Code as far back as iOS 9.2 are showing Interac as a potential payment network alongside Amex, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and China UnionPay. Chase Fromm posted a screenshot on Twitter today pointing to a line noting Interac’s payment network.
WeChat conversation via CNBeta.