Apple plans to introduce Apple Pay in Japan, New Zealand, and Russia this fall, marking the latest international expansion for the mobile payment service.
Apple Pay premiered in 2014 as a way to let shoppers load credit card and debit card information onto iPhones’ “mobile wallets.” Customers can then use either their iPhone (or linked Apple Watch) to pay at retail stores that are equipped with point-of-sale registers supporting near-field communication (NFC) technology.
People simply place their phones or watches near the point-of-sale register sensors to pay. Swiping a credit card is unnecessary.
Apple’s Pay’s arrival in Japan was originally reported a few weeks ago by Bloomberg. Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing chief, confirmed at an event on Wednesday in San Francisco that Apple Pay in Japan would use a different technology that rivals NFC, called Felica. Felica, which is developed by Sony, is to be integrated in future iPhones in Japan so people there can pay with their phones for mass transit rides including buses and trains. With the chip integration, iPhone users can also store their transit passes on their phone and tap their phones to scanners on the bus and train, bypassing using a physical transit card.
Schiller added that the new version of the Apple Watch, Series 2, will also include support for Felica. One of the reasons why Apple is integrating Felica chips in Japan is because Sony’s technology is more popular there with 1.9 million payment terminals already using the technology.
Apple Pay will also debut in New Zealand in October and in Russia sometime in the fall, the company said.
Additionally on Wednesday, Schiller said that over 90% of contactless payments handled by U.S. merchants are with Apple Pay, as opposed to rival service from Google and Samsung, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
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Although Reuters recently reported that Apple Pay is struggling to drive usage outside the U.S., Cook recently said that half of transaction value from payments made through Apple Pay are coming from non-U.S. markets. Apple Pay is currently available in the U.S. the U.K., Switzerland, Canada, Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
This story was updated with additional information about the rollout of Apple Pay in New Zealand and Russia