Apple faces local battles as its prepares global payments push

“Apple has made mobile payments look easy, after a decade of mostly failed experiments by banks, telecom operators and retailers to woo consumers away from cards and cash,” Eric Auchard reports for Reuters. “Apple Pay has taken the United States by storm since its launch in September, and the company has said it already accounts for around $2 out of every $3 spent using ‘contactless’ payments on the three big U.S. card networks.”

“But the tech giant will need a whole lot more magic as it looks to extend the service to international markets,” Auchard reports. “Unlike the consumer electronics business where Apple regularly rolls out new computers or phones in dozens of countries at once, there is no such thing as a unified payments market.”

‘Each country is inhabited by often warring banks, credit card associations, telecom operators and retailers, while payment preferences and regulatory regimes can vary widely,” Auchard reports. ” industry executives and analysts say that as the Silicon Valley firm gears up to push into a handful of new markets in the Americas, Asia and Europe this year, it must step gingerly, one market at a time. It is expected to turn to preferred partners in new countries rather than the broad coalition of financial service players it managed to assemble at home, where the contactless market is relatively new, they say.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Slow and steady wins this race. Apple Watch, not to mention tens of millions of Apple Pay-capable iPhones sold each quarter, will help grease the skids.

Related articles:
Apple Pay adds 39 more banks and credit unions – April 7, 2015
Apple Pay rumored to launch in China in April – March 23, 2015
The effect of Apple Pay on mobile and online stores: Ka-ching! – March 19, 2015
How Apple Pay will work on your Apple Watch – March 13, 2015
Apple Pay proves Apple continues to out-innovate would-be competitors – February 20, 2015
Apple Pay takes off, leaving moribund competitors in the dust – January 27, 2015


  1. One issue that is central to Apple Pay vs others is the matter of credit card fees. CurrentC is an attempt by the retailers to reduce fees and make it more secure. I believe Apple Pay is much more secure but if there was a way to cut out the bulk of the fees then GAME OVER.

    1. I also believe that CurrentC is attached to the checking account of the user and not the Visa/Master Card debit number That is the bulk of the fee reduction. Such attachment(s) is also troublesome if the system is circumvented and the account number is obtained since it may have different legal ramifications with the account owner. Not really sure if I trust CurrentC to use.

  2. No mention of MCX (CurrentC) deliberately pulling the rug out from underneath AAPL. This is willful sabotage of all things Apple. Any and ALL, who are in bed with MCX should be under investigation of collective collusion against Apple.

    1. Do you ponder there is motive for these parsimonious conglomerates?

      Walmart has long voiced its disdain for credit card processing fees that drain its slim margins, and even filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard over them back in 2003, but rejected the settlement they offered because it wanted more.

      If MCX’s app caught on, partner retailers could escape tons of fees, which could directly increase their profits. Alternatively, they could use the leverage of MCX and the threat of sidestepping the processing fees to negotiate lower fees with the credit card companies. Former Walmart CEO Lee Scott reportedly once said “I don’t know that MCX will succeed, and I don’t care. As long as Visa suffers.”


      1. “Former Walmart CEO Lee Scott reportedly once said “I don’t know that MCX will succeed, and I don’t care. As long as Visa suffers.”

        Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      2. Wal-Mart had $3.7 Billion in profits last year. Their margins are plenty healthy thank you very much. Now you can make the argument that Wal-Mart will pass any card fee savings onto to customers in lower prices if you want but most people won’t buy that argument.

  3. Grassroots support and pressure to implement Apple Pay push started with the iPhone. The pressure will grow with the Apple Watch.

    The Apple Watch will help Apple to spread the Apple Pay system internationally through from citizen support. When someone living in a country without Apple Pay purchases an Apple Watch, they will naturally want to explore and utilize all of its functionality. That is when the pressure to work with Apple to enable Apple Pay in that country begins to rapidly expand.

  4. I fear I will never see Apple Pay. But perhaps that doesn’t matter.

    For several years now we have had FlashPay. And now we have VisaWave.

    It works like this:

    1) walk up to counter
    2) order my Big Mac
    3) hold my wallet up to the terminal (the card is somewhere in there)
    4) take my burger

    These terminals are in about 90% of the stores where I shop.

    FlashPay and VisaWave are well established in many other countries as well (here in Asia).

    Good luck Apple.

    1. FlashPay, for those that don’t know) is a cash card and the vendor will not have any clue who I am. It is automatically ‘refilled’ when it gets low. No tracking.

      VisaWave on the other hand gives the vendor all the info about me so I can be tracked.

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