In an investor conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook outlined the company’s fourth quarter earnings but also highlighted that Apple Pay will be expanding into further international markets later this year as well as in 2016. According to Tim Cook, Canada and Australia will see Apple Pay services go live in 2015 following a deal with American Express. In 2016, the company hopes to expand the service to Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain.
While the markets set for Apple Pay’s initial international expansion seem an eclectic bunch, they were chosen due to the fact that each already has a significant base of contactless enabled terminals which should help the payment service gain traction among the local consumer base. For example, Mercator Advisory Group estimates suggest that Spain alone might have more contactless enabled terminals than the United States.
Though the markets selected might have the foundation in place for Apple Pay to succeed, there is relatively little evidence that consumers in these countries will rush to adopt mobile payments as has been seen in Apple Pay’s home market, the United States. Consumer apathy, coupled with different regulations like interchange caps and local competitors all make international expansion daunting but Apple Pay has the resources and brand power to potentially become one of the first truly global mobile payment systems.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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