European regulators are keeping a close eye on Apple Pay

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Apple Pay Germany
Apple Pay recently went live in Germany.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has admitted that Apple Pay hasn’t taken off quite as quickly as he would like. But that’s not stopping the European Commission from threatening that Apple’s mobile payments service could face challenges if it gets much more dominant.

Speaking this week, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that, while at “first glance, we couldn’t see Apple being dominant,” it will face ongoing scrutiny regarding Apple Pay.

Guten tag! Apple Pay goes live in Germany

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Apple Pay Germany
Germany is the 32nd country to get Apple Pay.
Photo: Apple

Apple Pay has made its official debut in Germany. The country marks the 32nd market to receive Apple’s mobile payment service after it went live in Belgium and Kazakhstan last month.

Apple Pay is supported by 15 banks and financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank unit Comdirect, Hypovereinsbank, Wirecard, Hanseatic Bank, and others.

Apple Pay on its way to Germany this week

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Apple Pay Germany
Guten tag, Apple Pay!
Photo: Apple

Apple Pay will finally make its debut in Germany this week, according to a new report.

Tim Cook previously promised that the mobile payments service would be available in Germany by the end of the year, while local webpages were recently updated to confirm it is “coming soon.”

Apple Pay teams up with retailers to offer festive discounts

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Apple Pay holidays 1
Here are some of the holiday savings you can make!
Photo: Apple

‘Tis the season to be jolly — and, if you’re Apple, to try and pick up a few more Apple Pay stragglers before the year ends.

With that in mind, Apple has launched its special Apple Pay holiday offers, granting users an assortment of festive discounts from 19 different retailers. The discounts are available when you use Apple Pay in certain retailers’ apps or on the web, through December 19. Here’s what’s on offer:

Target’s Apple Pay freeze-out may be thawing

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Target trolleys in store
One Target store is reportedly now accepting Apple Pay.
Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr CC

The days of Apple Pay not being accepted at Target could be coming to an end. According to a number of users on Twitter, the Target store in San Francisco is currently accepting Apple Pay purchases.

While this has yet to be rolled out to Target’s other 1,821 stores, this suggests the company may be changing its stance on Apple’s mobile payment service.

Apple Pay goes live in Belgium and Kazakhstan

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Apple Pay
Belgium will be the 30th market to get Apple Pay.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

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.

Swiss banks accused of colluding to hurt Apple Pay

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Apple Pay
Apple Pay arrived in Switzerland in 2016.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Switzerland is opening up an investigation into whether major banks colluded to fight off the threat of mobile payments services such as Apple Pay.

The banks, which include Credit Suisse and Switzerland’s top bank UBS, supposedly wanted to boost the Swiss mobile payment service TWINT. As a result, they are alleged to have blocked their credit cards from working with Apple Pay and the rival Samsung Pay service.

Apple Pay could land in Belgium next month

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Apple Watch Series 4 Apple Pay
Apple Pay is gradually expanding its reach.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple Pay is coming to Belgium in November, Belgian newspaper De Tijd reports. It will supposedly be available initially as an exclusive for customers of BNP Paribas Fortis, Belgium’s most popular major bank.

The country already has widespread usage of contactless payments, and has been using Android Pay since early 2017.