Apple Pay already works internationally, but only with US credit cards

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2015
Though Apple Pay is only advertised to work in the U.S. at the moment, users have found that the tap-to-pay functionality found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is in fact operational with compatible terminals internationally, as long as the device is set up properly with American credit cards.




YouTube channel TechSmartt tested Apple Pay in Canada after the service launched this week, and found that they were able to pay at near-field communications terminals in the True North. A compatible credit card must be scanned into Passbook, and the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus must have its region set to the United States in order for Apple Pay to work.

The site demonstrated using Apple Pay at a vending machine with a Chase credit card. Using a generic NFC payment terminal, the vending machine approved the U.S.-based card with no further steps necessary.

This is possible because Apple opted to integrate with existing NFC-based tap-to-pay systems available on the market, rather than developing its own wireless standard. The existing NFC mobile payment infrastructure is also compatible with the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) standard for chip cards.



Users have found success using Apple Pay in other countries as well, as noted by MacRumors, which found evidence of compatibility in Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

The immediate compatibility with global systems once again reveals the fact that the international roll-out of Apple Pay is not hampered by technology or point-of-sale systems. Rather, Apple must forge agreements with banks and credit card issuers to ensure compatibility.

Apple Pay officially launched in the U.S. on Monday with the release of iOS 8.1. For now it retail functionality is compatible with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, though Apple Pay support will also come to the Apple Watch when it launches next year.

For details on how to set up Apple Pay and where you can use it right now, see AppleInsider's in-depth guide and hands-on video.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    jmncljmncl Posts: 42member
    Someone please try this in on the London Tube!

    Must be American Express for compatibility (Visa/MC has some problems with US cards on the london transport)
  • Reply 2 of 27
    anomeanome Posts: 1,270member
    Knew I should have picked up a pre-paid card while I was in the US earlier this year. (Except it probably still wouldn't work, and loading the things is a pain without a US bank account.)
  • Reply 3 of 27
    Off-topic, U2 sold less than 25,000 deluxe albums in the USA in the week ending Oct 19. Usually, the deluxe version sells more than the basic offering. It's a clear lesson.

    http://www.hitsdailydouble.com/sales/salescht.cgi

    Maybe most iTunes Radio listeners were force fed new U2, unfortunately at the expense of other artists.
  • Reply 4 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmncl View Post



    Someone please try this in on the London Tube!



    Must be American Express for compatibility (Visa/MC has some problems with US cards on the london transport)

     

    Amex will have the same problems.  It's an EMV issue.  The card needs to be Pin & Chip, and as top priority.

     

    If the London Tubes are set up for Apple Pay, then MasterCard and Visa should work just fine, regardless of how the physical card is equipped.

     

    My bigger concern would be if the card has a foreign transaction fee, but that's another issue.

  • Reply 5 of 27
    I just used Apple Pay at Starbucks in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Although I live in Amsterdam, I have an American Citibank MasterCard which I linked to Apple Pay and was pleased to see that works abroad.

    The staff at Starbucks were not familiar with Apple Pay at all. However, when it was time to pay for my purchase, I held my iPhone 6+ against the NFC sensor on the payment terminal and my Citibank MasterCard appeared instantly on the screen. I tapped the touch ID and the transaction was completed.

    Fast, secure and much easier than using a credit card or bank card.

    John Sotomayor
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Reply 6 of 27
    jmncljmncl Posts: 42member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Russell W View Post

     

     

    Amex will have the same problems.  It's an EMV issue.  The card needs to be Pin & Chip, and as top priority.

     

    If the London Tubes are set up for Apple Pay, then MasterCard and Visa should work just fine, regardless of how the physical card is equipped.

     

    My bigger concern would be if the card has a foreign transaction fee, but that's another issue.


     

     

    I was relaying what TfL says on their page:

     

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/contactless/what-is-contactless?intcmp=8610

     

    * All American Express contactless payment cards work.

    Nearly all MasterCard and Maestro contactless payment cards issued outside the UK are accepted.

    The majority of cards that aren't accepted are issued in the USA, Canada and the Netherlands.

    Some Visa and V PAY contactless payment cards from countries other than the UK are not accepted for contactless travel on our services. Visa expects all its contactless payment cards to be accepted in the near future.

  • Reply 7 of 27
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,569member

    This does not surprise me, it the system has the NFC and EMV in the POS terminal and the transaction is being router back to the US or through a US based bank or CC company it should work. It no different then using you CC mag strip over seas, I travel with my US cards and they work overseas even though they are not NFC or EMV. The issue overseas is if your bank in the not a US company and is not part of Apple pay then it will not work in your counter or anywhere else. Apple just need to get each countries banks on board. Most will probably approach Apple.

  • Reply 8 of 27
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,070member

    Well, the good news is that, scanning news from all over Europe, there are tons of banks very openly announcing interest in Apple Pay. I fully expect this to travel the world much faster than anything that is dependent on approvals by music and film companies.

  • Reply 9 of 27

    PayPass etc is very common in Australia. Tap card against terminal and you've paid (if less than $100), enter pin if >$100.

     

    If it works on PayPass/PayWave/ExpressPay/Europay - simply because it uses any of the NFC terminals and authenticates with the bank - then we naturally just need our banks to recognise the cards when used via the iPhone.

     

    But an important question for the US .... why wouldn't it work at EVERY NFC terminal in the US? How can some retailers say they won't accept it? 

     

    (btw: it's great that Apple is encouraging US retailers to upgrade their MC/Visa terminals nationwide. It's taken a few years to get that happening in Australia, with the banks pushing new terminals on their business customers, but it's very common now, and I think this will be a faster process!).

  • Reply 10 of 27
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    It's interesting that it works with existing PayWave terminals. In terms of what the iPhone is transmitting over NFC, it must "look" like an ordinary wireless credit card to the terminal. It's like one of those universal TV remotes, you load all your credit cards on it and it can pretend to be each one.

  • Reply 11 of 27
    I have US cards in Europe but can't get "Add credit card" to show up in Passbook. I've tried everything: device set to USA, US iTunes account, etc. Nada.
  • Reply 12 of 27

    Hey, Are you sure you have updated to iOS 8.1?  It will not show up without it.

  • Reply 13 of 27
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,240member

    I can't wait for this to launch in Australia. I really hope we don't have to wait 12 months. The terminals are already in widespread and my bank at least is showing interest.

  • Reply 14 of 27

    It finally worked. I changed the region to US, which I had tried before to no avail a few times previously. So don't give up, switch it until it works.

  • Reply 15 of 27
    I'm truly shocked!***

    Here in Germany ApplePay has been all over the news and the German Banking Association wants to work with Apple to integrate it ASAP.

    German Main News Station (there is only one "real" station): http://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/apple-pay-101.html

    *** I had previously thought it would take the banks some time, say 2 or more years before making the effort. Especially considering that Apple only has (supposedly) ~20% of the mobile market.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,569member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post



    I'm truly shocked!***



    Here in Germany ApplePay has been all over the news and the German Banking Association wants to work with Apple to integrate it ASAP.



    German Main News Station (there is only one "real" station): http://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/apple-pay-101.html



    *** I had previously thought it would take the banks some time, say 2 or more years before making the effort. Especially considering that Apple only has (supposedly) ~20% of the mobile market.

    Again this does not surprise me since the US is only modeling what the EU has had for a while. Everything is in place to make this happen world wide, All the banks need to do is allow the tokenization, they back end systems probably need some updated to allow this. Apple probably and wisely decided to work with the US first since they had more work to do to make it work and US is its largest single market. 

     

    People keep thinking that Apple is doing something unique with NFC and tokenization, they are not they are just the first to put it all together in a way that works and is just simple.

     

    I believe as long as your bank allow NFC transaction with Tokenization then you set to go, but if you bank does not have both it most like will not work since the infrastructure is already in place.

     

    I believe it is going to sweep through the EU pretty quickly, since it will be the banks and consumers pulling it in verse Apple pushing.

  • Reply 17 of 27
    maestro64 wrote: »
    Again this does not surprise me since the US is only modeling what the EU has had for a while. Everything is in place to make this happen world wide, All the banks need to do is allow the tokenization, they back end systems probably need some updated to allow this. Apple probably and wisely decided to work with the US first since they had more work to do to make it work and US is its largest single market. 

    People keep thinking that Apple is doing something unique with NFC and tokenization, they are not they are just the first to put it all together in a way that works and is just simple.

    I believe as long as your bank allow NFC transaction with Tokenization then you set to go, but if you bank does not have both it most like will not work since the infrastructure is already in place.

    I believe it is going to sweep through the EU pretty quickly, since it will be the banks and consumers pulling it in verse Apple pushing.

    I specifically said in Germany AND German banks in previous posts regarding mobile payments.

    Yes, I also believe that in the rest of Europe this should be rolled out rather swiftly... it is HERE that there is/were/are problems. Main one being that Telekom, Vodafon and O2 have tried to corner the market... as well as the Deutsche Bahn (German Railway). Every single roll-out has been a mess. Also, while there are supposedly 35,000 Mastercard NFC terminals, I have yet to have seen one... nor do people pay with credit cards for the vast majority of their purchases here. Purchases are mostly through debit cards, that the individual banks issue... and again... I have yet to see an NFC terminal for debit cards here, since they're all chip and PIN cards.

    Summary: I'm relaying what I personally know and have seen in this country, and my observations have absolutely no baring on other countries within the EU.

    Another link (German): http://www.teltarif.de/i/mobile-payment.html
  • Reply 18 of 27
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,569member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post





    I specifically said in Germany AND German banks in previous posts regarding mobile payments.



    Yes, I also believe that in the rest of Europe this should be rolled out rather swiftly... it is HERE that there is/were/are problems. Main one being that Telekom, Vodafon and O2 have tried to corner the market... as well as the Deutsche Bahn (German Railway). Every single roll-out has been a mess. Also, while there are supposedly 35,000 Mastercard NFC terminals, I have yet to have seen one... nor do people pay with credit cards for the vast majority of their purchases here. Purchases are mostly through debit cards, that the individual banks issue... and again... I have yet to see an NFC terminal for debit cards here, since they're all chip and PIN cards.



    Summary: I'm relaying what I personally know and have seen in this country, and my observations have absolutely no baring on other countries within the EU.



    Another link (German): http://www.teltarif.de/i/mobile-payment.html

    I have not been to Europe recently so I can not say for sure, however, many of the new POS terminals do not make it obviously they support NFC, like the older style one like this

     

     

    The new ones look like this and it not obvious as I am finding out, The only way you know for sure is if the NFC symbol flash on the LCD display. Not sure why they are not making it more prominent like on the older devices.

     

    These will support chip in pin or NFC and pin, you could use this with ATM bank card which is stored on the phone and enter you pin as another level of security.

     

    People think this only works for CC and can work for any type of card.

     

    If you are seeing these types showing up in Europe, ApplePay most likely can be used. All the place I have been in recently who have this type of POS terminal which just showed up in the last few month are allowing ApplePay.

  • Reply 19 of 27
    maestro64 wrote: »
    I have not been to Europe recently so I can not say for sure, however, many of the new POS terminals do not make it obviously they support NFC, like the older style one like this

    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="51182" data-type="61" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/51182/width/350/height/700/flags/LL" style="; width: 350px; height: 327px">


    The new ones look like this and it not obvious as I am finding out, The only way you know for sure is if the NFC symbol flash on the LCD display. Not sure why they are not making it more prominent like on the older devices.

    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="51183" data-type="61" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/51183/width/200/height/400/flags/LL" style="; width: 200px; height: 198px">

    These will support chip in pin or NFC and pin, you could use this with ATM bank card which is stored on the phone and enter you pin as another level of security.

    People think this only works for CC and can work for any type of card.

    If you are seeing these types showing up in Europe, ApplePay most likely can be used. All the place I have been in recently who have this type of POS terminal which just showed up in the last few month are allowing ApplePay.


    You missed the important part of ApplePay where the issuing bank has to authorize the card first. Which points back to my initial sceptisism: ApplePay may certainly work at many retailers... when German banks allow them to.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post





    You missed the important part of ApplePay where the issuing bank has to authorize the card first. Which points back to my initial sceptisism: ApplePay may certainly work at many retailers... when German banks allow them to.



    Yes, I'm sort of skeptic about the german deploy, since the EC cards are so popular. Still: now that there are so many online banks, all offering you 50-100€ to get a free (!!) bank account, this is going to be a huge selling point.

     

    What makes it even larger: people buying iPhone 6s have money. They are exactly the kind of costumers banks love.

     

    Whichever bank doesn't offer ApplePay, is gonna have a bad time.

     

    I, for myself, would switch from my bank in a second. Although I'm very satisfied with it!

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