Buried under a pile of flashy exclusivity ploys, bombastic incremental iPhone and Apple Watch upgrades, and even eye-catching software release recaps, one of Apple’s lower-key announcements yesterday that may have escaped your radar so far is its mobile payment app’s next expansion wave.
Yes, Apple Pay already has an impressive nine countries under its belt, constantly picking up support for more banks and payment methods from the US to the UK, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore, Switzerland, France, and Hong Kong.
But the digital wallet’s slow global takeover will officially continue this fall with commercial launches in Japan, New Zealand and Russia. None of these are on the Samsung Pay or Android Pay bandwagons yet, while dates should be pinned down soon.
Sony’s FeliCa contactless smart card technology was leveraged by Apple in getting its product to fit the needs and requirements of the always demanding Japanese audience, with Suica, another key existing player of the already developed local tap-to-pay market, also on board and fully supporting Apple Pay.
Starting sometime in October, customers of AEON, Credit Saison, JCB, Mitsubishi UFJ Nicos, Orient Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Card, Toyota Finance, UC Cards, and View Card will be able to virtually store their physical credit and prepaid cards, and securely pay for stuff from their pockets or wrists. In New Zealand, ANZ is the only participating bank off the bat, with similar details for Russia kept under wraps.