December 20, 2014
Apple is now looking forward to expanding its mobile payments service Apple Pay to countries in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. A recent job listing by Apple revealed that the company is forming a new team, focused on Apple Pay, at its London office. One of the job postings shows Apple would be hiring an Apple Pay Site Reliability Engineer in China. Currently there are no hints as to when Apple would take Apple Pay beyond US region.
It can be said that Apple would certainly be following the ‘partnership’ approach as it did for US launch. Targeting multiple geographies would certainly require an exhaustive array of partnerships specific to each of the regions. About 36 countries in Europe already support contactless payments as per a research by IHS. Apple’s bank and credit card network partners have been promoting Apple Pay through TV commercials and promotions in US. Apple would have to use this strategy as well for other regions.
As per the official job listing page: Apple Pay is a new and exciting area in Apple that is set to expand across Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. The new London-based Apple Pay team will work to drive the roll-out of this technology across EMEIA by working with a variety of internal and external partners, including teams in the US where the product will first launch and the EMEIA organization, as well as Issuers, payment networks and merchants across Europe. The particular page has been removed by Apple.
Apple Pay has seen some significant success in its early months in US. Whole Foods cited that the service now accounts for 1% of all transactions; it’s been reported that Apple Pay accounted for 50% of McDonald’s tap-to-pay transactions. Walgreens cited that mobile wallet payments have doubled since Apple Pay debuted. Furthermore, Apple recently announced that Apple Pay now supports the cards that represent roughly 90% of the credit card purchase volume in the US, after adding new partners.
It remains to be seen whether Apple Pay can have the same effect in new targeted geographies.