Apple Pay has gone live in Belgium. It is supported by BNP Paribas, Belgium’s most popular major bank, and its brands Fintro and Hello Bank. Online services and apps such as Deliveroo, Taxi.eu and Booking.com also accept Apple Pay.
Apple’s contactless payment system has also apparently gone live in Kazakhstan. The two countries are the 30th and 31st to offer Apple Pay.
Belgium already has widespread usage of contactless payments. Residents have been using Android Pay since early 2017.
The country has a population of around 11.35 million people, the equivalent to the state of Ohio. Despite its relatively diminutive size, however, it has significance on the world stage thanks to its capital city Brussels, where the European Union is headquartered.
Apple’s first retail store in Brussels opened back in 2015..
Apple Pay’s global expansion
Apple Pay first went live in the U.S. on October 20, 2014. Since then, it has expanded to multiple other countries, with Belgium likely to be the 30th market to receive the service.
While Tim Cook has admitted that mobile payments have taken off slower than he expected, Europe has a big advantage over the United States. That’s because contactless technology is far more established, particularly in places like Belgium.
According to a report published at the start of this year, Apple Pay currently has an estimated active user base in excess of 127 million people. This number has likely grown significantly since then. Apple Pay is also set to arrive in Germany and Saudi Arabia in the near future.
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Note: This post was originally published on Nov. 27. It has been updated to include details about the Apple Pay launch in Belgium and Kazakhstan.
Source: De Tijd