Apple Pay may be coming to Sweden before the end of October, but has a battle ahead

in Apple Watch edited October 2017
A report suggests that Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri's declaration that Apple Pay would come to Sweden before the end of the year is happening sooner rather than later, with a launch possible in the last full week of October.

Mac enthusiast site claims that Apple will launch the Apple Pay platform in Sweden, with Nordea as the first participating bank in the country. No specific sources were described by the publication.

Apple Pay will be fighting incumbent contactless payment service Swish in Sweden. Since launch in 2012, more than half the populace uses the cross-platform Swish service -- which is partly owned by rumored Apple Pay launch partner Nordea.

If accurate, the report does follow Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri's guidance on the matter. During Apple's fiscal third quarter earnings report conference call, Maestri mentioned in passing that not only Sweden would have the service, but Denmark, Finland, and the UAE as well.

AppleInsider wasn't able to confirm the accuracy of the report. Both Apple and Nordea refused comment on the matter, with one source at Apple pointing to Maestri's remarks.

Should's report be accurate, it would be the first of the four countries named by Maestri to get the service.


  • Reply 1 of 4
    Regarding Swish, it started as a service (owned by the major banks, among them Nordea, SEB, Handelsbanken and Swedbank) for sending money to other people (using phone number, both the sender and the recipient must register their phone number to use the service, usually through their bank).

    Currently some businesses accept Swish as well, but it is not yet very common. You can in general not go into a shop and pay with Swish, some smaller shops yes, but not that many and not bigger shops (such as supermarkets). It is more widely used for very small businesses, such as market stands.

    It is still a bit cumbersome to use in shops, you either have to manually enter the business "phone number" and sum, or scan a QR code (that is generated specifically for your transaction).

    The main way of payment (other than cash) is still card with chip and pin. Contactless payments (using NFC equipped card, and pin for sums above a certain limit, usually SEK 200, about $20) are becoming more wide spread. The main problem is that many shops have not upgraded their card readers for contactless payments (even some readers that have the hardware, and NFC symbol, still don't accept contactless payments). There are some indications that many readers have to be replaced before year end due to new regulations, and apparently "all" new readers are NFC equipped.

    In the past months Samsung Pay has been introduced, (I believe) SEB and Nordea support it and Swedbank is just now starting to support it.

    I definitely look forward to the launch of Apple Pay here, I don't use Nordea though so I really hope that more banks come on board really really soon...
  • Reply 2 of 4
    mikaelstangemikaelstange Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Finally! Or as we say in Sweden,  äntligen!
  • Reply 3 of 4
    I was recently in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. In Norway and Denmark, almost 100% of terminals use NFC, so I was able to use Apple Pay for most transactions. In Sweden it was more like 30% :-(. In all three countries, using Apple Pay usually resulted in a look of shock on the cashier's face. They had never seen such a thing. 
    edited October 2017 jbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 4
    First of all, I’m a Swede.

    As. JsonLu said, Swish is not a contactless payment form that uses NFC. You have to open the app, enter the recievers private phone number or company/organisation 9 digit code - or scan their QR code within the app. Then you have to authorize the payment in another app called ”Bank ID” with a code or fingerprint. But it’s mostly used for private transfers, not in major businesses.

    There is also another service called Seqr with a QR code and separate app that has been introduced in some major supermarkets, but I’ve never seen or heard of anyone using it...

    A big operator of payments in Sweden is iZettle, sort of like Square, with POS for iPhones, iPads, etc where you can use credit cards and also Swish actually. But the major businesses still use the big terminals from BABS and others - and even though many of them are prepared for NFC, not all of them have that function turned on.

    Contactless credit and debit cards have been distributed to many Swedes now from all major banks, but few have started using it. Chip payments are still the lay of the land and even though some have removed the requirment for enter PIN code under 20$ and a few accept NFC payments with those cards, it’s not often I see NFC being used. But I don’t have the numbers to back up that claim.

    I would say the major problem with physical NFC cards is so many companies are starting using them, from banks to commuter services and with 4-5 sush cards in a wallet one can not just hold up the wallet to a terminal for fast payment or registration, so one still has to get the wallet, find the right card, take it out, use it separetly and put it back...
    edited October 2017
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