Apple Pay finally 'coming soon' to Germany

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple Pay is at last "coming soon" to Germany, according to the company's website, though it has less than two months to fulfill a 2018 launch date it promised earlier in the year.

Apple Pay in Germany


The news can also be seen on the website of HypoVereinsbank, one of several banks planning support the platform. According to Apple, some other participating card issuers will include Boon, Bunq, ComDirect, Edenred, Fidor, Hanseatic Bank, N26, and O2 Banking. American Express, Mastercard, and Visa cards should be compatible.

Some of the better-known retailers that will accept Apple Pay are Aldi, Galeria Kaufhof, H&M, Lidl, MediaMarkt, Saturn, Shell, and Zara. In Berlin, BVG will let U- and S-Bahn riders pay for passes.

Germany is continental Europe's biggest economy, which has made the absence of Apple Pay there conspicuous. Apple and banks have been mired in talks for well over a year, presumably in an attempt to sort out transaction fees. Apple takes a fractional cut from each Apple Pay transaction, eating into a bank's revenues on a large enough scale.

Apple Pay is rumored to be coming to another European market, Belgium, sometime later this month.

In announcing its September quarter results Apple revealed that Apple Pay transactions tripled year-over-year through a combination of more regions and compatible vendors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Maybe it’s already well known that you can use Apple Pay already in Germany with a credit card issued from another country that supports it. I’ve been doing this for about a year at places like Galeria Kaufhof, REWE, DM and yes, even for BVG. You just need to set the phone / watch region to someplace like Sweden or US to set it up. 
    elfig2012caladanian
  • Reply 2 of 11
    brianb08 said:
    Maybe it’s already well known that you can use Apple Pay already in Germany with a credit card issued from another country that supports it. I’ve been doing this for about a year at places like Galeria Kaufhof, REWE, DM and yes, even for BVG. You just need to set the phone / watch region to someplace like Sweden or US to set it up. 
    What are the consequences of setting a region for a phone? ...I found out that I can download Apple news app when I set the region to the US, but the app vanishes when I set the region back to Norway (in my case)... :/

    Curious if my German comdirect credit card will work soon with Apple Pay in my Norwegian phone. :))
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Btw: I would love if Apple could get rid of all the regions and stores and would be able to make a one-world-phone. Wishful thinking because of the legal situation but still...
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Without the ‘savings banks’ (Sparkasse) this is a bit tokenistic.  Germans don’t really use credit cards, and most Germans use a local savings bank.  I think Apple Pay has a lot to offer Germany in this way - most other easy payment methods are very much tied to MasterCard/EuroCard or Visa - Germans should appreciate the security of Apple Pay and the ability to use your own money, not credit.  But I think Apple haven’t done enough work on communication here.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 5 of 11
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    arthurba said:
    Without the ‘savings banks’ (Sparkasse) this is a bit tokenistic.  Germans don’t really use credit cards, and most Germans use a local savings bank.  I think Apple Pay has a lot to offer Germany in this way - most other easy payment methods are very much tied to MasterCard/EuroCard or Visa - Germans should appreciate the security of Apple Pay and the ability to use your own money, not credit.  But I think Apple haven’t done enough work on communication here.
    But why should people bother to use Apple Pay? In Europe most people simply use PIN with their bankcard, which isn't a credit card. Fully accustomed in using contactless payment for quite a few years now, I don't see people change their payment habit for something that doesn't bring much new to the table.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    payecopayeco Posts: 301member
    I used Apple Pay with my American credit cards last month in literally every place in Germany that wasn't cash only. Shame they've had to wait so long since the retail side is already supported.
    chia
  • Reply 7 of 11
    chiachia Posts: 698member
    arthurba said:
    Without the ‘savings banks’ (Sparkasse) this is a bit tokenistic.  Germans don’t really use credit cards, and most Germans use a local savings bank.  I think Apple Pay has a lot to offer Germany in this way - most other easy payment methods are very much tied to MasterCard/EuroCard or Visa - Germans should appreciate the security of Apple Pay and the ability to use your own money, not credit.  But I think Apple haven’t done enough work on communication here.
    But why should people bother to use Apple Pay? In Europe most people simply use PIN with their bankcard, which isn't a credit card. Fully accustomed in using contactless payment for quite a few years now, I don't see people change their payment habit for something that doesn't bring much new to the table.

    I use Apple Pay in the U.K.  It’s faster and more convenient paying with your Apple Watch than fumbling with wallets, purses, cards and PINs, especially in those places where you can use it for transactions higher than the £30 contactless card limit.

    John Lewis was one of the last holdouts for contactless payments but I’m glad they’ve recently gone all in with Apple Pay: on the eve of the World Cup I bought a new £500 TV via Apple Pay on my Apple Watch.
    Apple Pay makes it very easy to spend. I believe the smarter merchants have realised that and have rushed to fully implement it as a result.

    With regards to the German credit card/savings account situation, in the U.K. the banks issue  VISA Debit and Mastercard Debit not just for the credit accounts, but for current (checking) and even savings accounts. I’m not familiar with the German banking landscape but I presume that the Germans have their own separate card system/protocol they use for their current and savings accounts.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,750member
    arthurba said:
    Without the ‘savings banks’ (Sparkasse) this is a bit tokenistic.  Germans don’t really use credit cards, and most Germans use a local savings bank.  I think Apple Pay has a lot to offer Germany in this way - most other easy payment methods are very much tied to MasterCard/EuroCard or Visa - Germans should appreciate the security of Apple Pay and the ability to use your own money, not credit.  But I think Apple haven’t done enough work on communication here.
    The reason Sparkasse isn’t onboard here is because they aren’t letting go of their own dead product, Paydirekt, yet (and they’re pissed that Apple isn’t letting them access the NFC unit). 

    http://finanz-szene.de/exklusiv-nur-40-000-transaktionen-monatlich-was-wird-jetzt-aus-paydirekt/

    We’ll have to wait a few years until that dies before they’ll implement Apple Pay. 
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Just a theory, but I think Germans continue to shy from using credit cards and favor cash as a behavioral remnant stemming from the Deutschmark’s hyperinflation during World War 2.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    arthurba said:
    Without the ‘savings banks’ (Sparkasse) this is a bit tokenistic.  Germans don’t really use credit cards, and most Germans use a local savings bank.  I think Apple Pay has a lot to offer Germany in this way - most other easy payment methods are very much tied to MasterCard/EuroCard or Visa - Germans should appreciate the security of Apple Pay and the ability to use your own money, not credit.  But I think Apple haven’t done enough work on communication here.

    This isn't Apple's fault. These banks/ institutions are trying to push their own solutions. Same happened to Google Pay, so they had to partner with Paypal, which automatically generates a Visa/Master Card for the account holder. Apple with probably enter a similar arrangement.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,750member
    Just a theory, but I think Germans continue to shy from using credit cards and favor cash as a behavioral remnant stemming from the Deutschmark’s hyperinflation during World War 2.
    Wrong on every historical level. 

    1.) hyperinflation was during the Weimar Republic, and ended in 1923. 

    2.) the currency used during the so-called "Third Reich" (1933-1945) was called "Reichsmark", and it was in use from 1924 until 1948 (and thus during the Second World War 1939-1945). It wasn't subject to any extreme inflation. 

    3.) Deutsche Mark was introduced in West Germany 1948 and became the basis for West Germany's economic boom in the 1950s and '60s. 

    A large part of the German skepticism is the strong distrust of centralised tracking — which indeed stems from the Third Reich, and from the East German experience with a total surveillance regime. Cash has here the slight (or for some, overt) undertone of being an untrackable currency for sovereign citizens of our federal state, rather than surveilled subjects of a totalitarian regime. 
    edited November 2018
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