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Apple is in negotiations with financial institutions in the Middle East to bring Apple Pay to Israel, reports the regional Calcalist website.

apple-pay.jpeg

According to the Hebrew-language publication, Apple representatives recently began a round of meetings with banks and credit card companies to formulate agreements to bring Apple Pay to the country.

The report notes that many Israeli businesses recently adopted the Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) standard for mobiles, allowing customer account credentials to be loaded directly onto NFC-enabled smartphones and used in contactless transactions.

Unlike Android devices, Apple's devices don't allow access to the NFC chip through apps other than Apple's own Wallet app, which means financial bodies must sign an Apple Pay agreement that allows the card to be registered in the Wallet. However, it appears that Apple's fee demands could be a sticking point in discussions. The report reads (English machine translation):
Recently, representatives of the Israeli financial system met with Apple representatives to reach cooperation agreements, but some players were surprised to find that Apple requires a fairly high fee estimated at 0.15% - 0.25% of any transaction made through Apple Pay. This is between a quarter and a third of the credit card issuer's revenue from the transaction (bank or credit card company), which should only be paid for the right to pass through Apple Pay.

"It is disproportionate, and constitutes an exploitation of its status and power," said a source close to the talks between the parties.
Apple routinely takes commission from national banking institutions in return for access to Apple Pay, although Germany has passed legislation that could force Apple to open up the NFC chip in iPhones to competing mobile payment providers. Australia's big banks have also sought open access to the NFC chip on the iPhone in recent years.

(Thanks, Amit!)

Article Link: Apple in Talks With Banks to Bring Apple Pay to Israel
 

apoltix

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2008
18
22
London
Unlike Android devices, Apple's devices don't allow access to the NFC chip through apps other than Apple's own Wallet app

Not quite true as of iOS 12, and even more so in iOS 13. You can use Core NFC to send NFC commands, however it has to be done when your app is in the foreground, and it has to show a very generic Apple-provided UI, and you explicitly cannot communicate with financial cards/terminals.
 

laszlo182

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2013
236
148
Bratislava, Slovakia
they don’t have to bother as about maximum 5% of businesses here support contactless payments, all other rely on magnetic strip. And I know only one 1 store where they actually use it

I was really surprised by this. They usually have it built in in the monitor, so they all would need to buy new tech. And this Tel Aviv..
 

tmiw

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2007
2,275
520
San Diego, CA
they don’t have to bother as about maximum 5% of businesses here support contactless payments, all other rely on magnetic strip. And I know only one 1 store where they actually use it

I was really surprised by this. They usually have it built in in the monitor, so they all would need to buy new tech. And this Tel Aviv..

By that logic the US should never have gotten it, but here we are. Besides, Apple can just partner with a few major retailers there just like here to get the minimum level of merchant adoption needed.
 

lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
976
391
I am not sure about other countries but the NFC in my iPhone can be used by the ePassport app issued by the German government.
But it can’t be used to make contactless payments with your bank’s own app. Or the app of any other bank. Either you pay with Apple Pay or don’t pay with your iphone at all. That’s what the banks in many countries (probably all but the US) are upset about.
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they don’t have to bother as about maximum 5% of businesses here support contactless payments, all other rely on magnetic strip. And I know only one 1 store where they actually use it

I was really surprised by this. They usually have it built in in the monitor, so they all would need to buy new tech. And this Tel Aviv..
That was exactly the situation in the US too back in 2014 and Apple still launched Apple Pay there at that time, so it looks like the criteria Apple now uses to roll out Apple Pay in other countries was not applied to the US.
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By that logic the US should never have gotten it, but here we are. Besides, Apple can just partner with a few major retailers there just like here to get the minimum level of merchant adoption needed.
Obviously merchant adoption was NOT part of the criteria used by Apple to decide to roll out Apple Pay in the US, though they do seem to be using that criteria in other countries. Clearly Apple has one set of rules to launch their products and services in the US and another one for all other countries.
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Not quite true as of iOS 12, and even more so in iOS 13. You can use Core NFC to send NFC commands, however it has to be done when your app is in the foreground, and it has to show a very generic Apple-provided UI, and you explicitly cannot communicate with financial cards/terminals.
That’s exactly what the fight in the EU is about. Banks in the region want to be able have their own payment apps use the NFC chip for payments. At least one bank in every country of the world except the US offers such an app, but for now they can only offer it on Android.
 
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lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
976
391
What about Chile ? It has contactless enabled everywhere, even google pay, but not apple pay
Clearly Apple isn’t too concerned about the contactless infrastructure in each country, and they first roll out apple pay in countries where the banks quickly accept to pay their fees. That would explain why the US was the first-ever country to get Apple Pay in 2014 when only 2 or 3 of the banks there were technologically ready to meet its security requirements and only 3% of the merchants there were accepting contactless payment, while many European countries whose banks were technologically far ahead of US banks and whose merchants almost all accepted contactless payment still had to wait at least 3-4 more years to get Apple Pay despite being more technologically ready for it than the US was.
 
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