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Apple Pay has gained several new partners in Europe this month, including American Express in the Netherlands, ING in Italy, Santander in Portugal, and UBS in Switzerland, according to a recently updated list on Apple's website. Canadian carrier Rogers has also introduced Apple Pay support for its line of Mastercards.

apple-pay-ubs-switzerland.jpg

Apple Pay launched in 2014 in the United States and is now available in over 40 countries around the world. To add a card to Apple Pay, open the Wallet app on an iPhone and tap the plus sign in the top-right corner. Your card issuer will verify your information.

Article Link: Apple Pay Expands to Additional Banks in Europe
 
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arnoz

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2007
204
129
Switzerland
There were still banks in Europe that didn’t support Apple Card? Sheesh…
Many, many of them...

It's a shame UBS only supports credit cards for Apple Pay. Time to ditch their Twint stuff and allow customers to have a regular bank card linked with Apple Pay. I don't buy everything with a credit card...
 

FrietVanPiet

macrumors newbie
Aug 19, 2020
10
12
There were still banks in Europe that didn’t support Apple Card? Sheesh…
It's annoying yea. I can imagine banks don't like to be controlled by Apple, so many banks invested in other mobile payment systems. The thing is, Apple has a monopoly on iOS so no mobile payment system will succeed apart from Apple Pay. Banks are realising that now.
 
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manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
7,172
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There were still banks in Europe that didn’t support Apple Card? Sheesh…
Assuming you meant Apple Pay (not Apple Card), you have to factor in that in a lot of European countries maybe 80% of customers are served by a handful of banks (or banking groups). Those dominant forces in their respective markets have been loathe to hand over any sort of control and money to an outsider. So they tried to tough it out as long as they could, hoping homegrown solutions might catch on.
 

Lazy

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2003
305
335
Silicon Valley
Assuming you meant Apple Pay (not Apple Card), you have to factor in that in a lot of European countries maybe 80% of customers are served by a handful of banks (or banking groups). Those dominant forces in their respective markets have been loathe to hand over any sort of control and money to an outsider. So they tried to tough it out as long as they could, hoping homegrown solutions might catch on.
I did mean Apple Pay, like the article was about.

I suppose in there might be hope they could come up with something together, but are there ongoing efforts along those lines?
 

jimthing

macrumors 68000
Apr 6, 2011
1,699
902
London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
UK issues I know about:

1. Sainsbury's Bank don't offer Apple Pay, at all.
And have been saying "coming soon" for over a year, lol. 🙄

2. Many banks still expect you to phone them to verify! WHY??
This is despite the card being on several other of your devices already!
And it takes AGES to get through on the phone.
Worst offender: Halifax Bank (RBS group) BY FAR!

If you have several cards (8 for me) to add to several devices, it's a complete pain in the backside to deal with, each time you get a new device, having half of them insist you phone them instead of receiving a simple and quick SMS.

Don't get started on second card holders issues...60mins holding in a phone queue just to get, "is the primary card holder there to speak to?" ... what yet AGAIN?? No they're flipping well not, just add the card I have in front of me as you can see is already on 4 devices on your system to AP on this device, and let me get on with my busy day!? Aargh!!
 
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tmiw

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2007
2,275
520
San Diego, CA
UK issues I know about:

1. Sainsbury's Bank don't offer Apple Pay, at all.

2. Many banks still expect you to phone them to verify! WHY??
This is despite the card being on several other of your devices already!
And it takes AGES to get through on the phone.
Worst offender: Halifax Bank (RBS group) BY FAR!

If you have several cards (8 for me) to add to several devices, it's a complete pain in the backside to deal with, each time you get a new device, having half of them insist you phone them instead of receiving a simple and quick SMS.

Don't get started on second card holders issues...60mins holding in a phone queue just to get, "is the primary card holder there to speak to?" ... what yet AGAIN?? No they're flipping well not, just add the card I have in front of me as you can see is already on 4 devices on your system to AP on this device, and let me get on with my busy day!? Aargh!!

To be fair, SMS isn't the greatest thing security-wise either. That's not to say they couldn't have people verify through the bank's app or some other method, though.
 

jimthing

macrumors 68000
Apr 6, 2011
1,699
902
London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
To be fair, SMS isn't the greatest thing security-wise either. That's not to say they couldn't have people verify through the bank's app or some other method, though.
Yeah, I'd agree, but the same banks that tell you to verify by phone, also do it by text around 20% of the time! So that's not the issue, but rather pigheaded naff security concepts are.

In fact it's not just SMS, as others ask to phone you immediately on one of your numbers you select, then enter a code instead – even that's much quicker than manually having to phone their general number and hold for ages EACH AND EVERY time.
 

manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
7,172
2,993
I did mean Apple Pay, like the article was about.

I suppose in there might be hope they could come up with something together, but are there ongoing efforts along those lines?
In Switzerland, the digital payment system TWINT, created by one of the large banks in 2014, joined forces with other major banks in 2016 and for a while now has covered basically all banks in Switzerland. However, with UBS, the largest bank in Switzerland, joining Apple Pay now and the second largest bank, Credit Suisse, having joined last year, the resistance against Apple Pay has basically crumbled. These two largest banks cover about 50% of the retail market.

In Germany, the largest banking groups, co-operative banks/credit unions ("Volksbanken") and savings banks ("Sparkassen", owned mainly by municipalities) each did create their own digital payment solution (which was only available on Android because Apple blocks access to NFC by third-party payment solutions) but as in Switzerland caved in in 2020 and 2019, respectively, and also offered Apple Pay. The general pattern being the same, in that the largest bank was holding out the longest.

BTW, the Swiss solution, TWINT, does work both on Android and iPhones because it doesn't use NFC but custom Bluetooth beacons that need to be added to the payment portals. It got good coverage in Switzerland because it managed to strike deals with the two largest supermarket chains (which together have an almost 70% market share for the whole retail sector).

Germany and Switzerland might also have been at a disadvantage since the usage of cash in both countries has remained high, thus making it harder for local digital payment solutions to gain critical mass. But in the end, probably only a pan-European solution with at least most major countries joining forces could have created a viable competitor to Apple Pay and Google Pay.
 
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lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
976
391
Just another thing not available in Europe :/
The US is the only country where you get everything Apple has to offer. Anywhere else you live you will be missing one or more features. It’s even stupid to buy apple’s products if you live outside the US, because you pay even more than americans but will always get less features and services than they do.
 

Nütztjanix

Contributor
Jul 31, 2019
1,395
920
Germany
The US is the only country where you get everything Apple has to offer. Anywhere else you live you will be missing one or more features. It’s even stupid to buy apple’s products if you live outside the US, because you pay even more than americans but will always get less features and services than they do.
When comparing prices, always keep in mind that US prices are without VAT, whereas in Europe prices are usually including VAT (19% pre-pandemic, currently 16% in Germany for example).
 

Lazy

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2003
305
335
Silicon Valley
In Switzerland, the digital payment system TWINT, created by one of the large banks in 2014, joined forces with other major banks in 2016 and for a while now has covered basically all banks in Switzerland. However, with UBS, the largest bank in Switzerland, joining Apple Pay now and the second largest bank, Credit Suisse, having joined last year, the resistance against Apple Pay has basically crumbled. These two largest banks cover about 50% of the retail market.

In Germany, the largest banking groups, co-operative banks/credit unions ("Volksbanken") and savings banks ("Sparkassen", owned mainly by municipalities) each did create their own digital payment solution (which was only available on Android because Apple blocks access to NFC by third-party payment solutions) but as in Switzerland caved in in 2020 and 2019, respectively, and also offered Apple Pay. The general pattern being the same, in that the largest bank was holding out the longest.

BTW, the Swiss solution, TWINT, does work both on Android and iPhones because it doesn't use NFC but custom Bluetooth beacons that need to be added to the payment portals. It got good coverage in Switzerland because it managed to strike deals with the two largest supermarket chains (which together have an almost 70% market share for the whole retail sector).

Germany and Switzerland might also have been at a disadvantage since the usage of cash in both countries has remained high, thus making it harder for local digital payment solutions to gain critical mass. But in the end, probably only a pan-European solution with at least most major countries joining forces could have created a viable competitor to Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Thanks for the unusually informative post.

It’s starting to look like Apple restricting the use of NFC was pretty forward looking for them. I remember there was a kerfuffle somewhere else, Australia maybe, over that as the local banks wanted to implement their own payment system. Apple wasn’t preventing that directly, but in effect was doing so indirectly by not allowing use of NFC.
 

lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
976
391
When comparing prices, always keep in mind that US prices are without VAT, whereas in Europe prices are usually including VAT (19% pre-pandemic, currently 16% in Germany for example).
Yeah I know, but even if that weren’t the case and the price were the same in the US and outside it would be unfair for users outside the US, who will always be missing one or more features, to pay the same price as US users who always get all the features. Especially in regions such as Africa or spanish speaking Latin America, where users are missing the vast majority (more than 50%) of the features and services that US users do get on apple’s products.

Just to give you an example: users in Mexico and the rest of Hispanic America pay at least 15-20% more than US users for an iphone or apple watch due to taxes, exchange rates, etc. Yet those users don’t get a lot of features that US users do get use such as News, Apple Pay, Apple Cash, the Apple Card, ECG on the apple watch, Covid 19 exposure notifications, most of the features of Apple Maps and any other new feature or service that apple may announce when they launch new hardware. Then why are they still required to pay for apple products at full price and even a bit more due to taxes and exchange rates when they can’t use more than half their features?
 
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lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
976
391
Thanks for the unusually informative post.

It’s starting to look like Apple restricting the use of NFC was pretty forward looking for them. I remember there was a kerfuffle somewhere else, Australia maybe, over that as the local banks wanted to implement their own payment system. Apple wasn’t preventing that directly, but in effect was doing so indirectly by not allowing use of NFC.
Yes it was in Australia. The four largest banks in the country, known commonly as the Big Four, held out of supporting apple pay for years because they were upset at not being able to offer their own wallet apps to iOS users due to Apple restricting the use of the NFC chip for payments to Apple Pay only. They also disliked apple’s fees because they thought the fees were a bit too steep. But unfortunately, Apple got its way: they never opened access to the NFC chip for payments and now all of the Big Four banks do support apple pay. So it looks like so far it’s still either apple’s way or the Long Island Expressway when it comes to the using the NFC chip on iphone and apple watch for payments. No one in the world has even got close to making them budge on that.
 
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Nütztjanix

Contributor
Jul 31, 2019
1,395
920
Germany
Yeah I know, but even if that weren’t the case and the price were the same in the US and outside it would be unfair for users outside the US, who will always be missing one or more features, to pay the same price as US users who always get all the features. Especially in regions such as Africa or spanish speaking Latin America, where users are missing the vast majority (more than 50%) of the features and services that US users do get on apple’s products.

Just to give you an example: users in Mexico and the rest of Hispanic America pay at least 15-20% more than US users for an iphone or apple watch due to taxes, exchange rates, etc. Yet those users don’t get a lot of features that US users do get use such as News, Apple Pay, Apple Cash, the Apple Card, ECG on the apple watch, Covid 19 exposure notifications, most of the features of Apple Maps and any other new feature or service that apple may announce when they launch new hardware. Then why are they still required to pay for apple products at full price and even a bit more due to taxes and exchange rates when they can’t use more than half their features?
I know. As I said, in Germany we actually have a lot of the features compared to other non-US countries/Canada. And yet, it's significantly less than US/Canada.

One example where Apple actually is overcharging us is the HomePod. It's ~$336 without tax (~$389 including VAT) in Germany. That's obscene. As much as I'd like to have one, there is no way I'm going to pay that much.
 

lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
976
391
I know. As I said, in Germany we actually have a lot of the features compared to other non-US countries/Canada. And yet, it's significantly less than US/Canada.

One example where Apple actually is overcharging us is the HomePod. It's ~$336 without tax (~$389 including VAT) in Germany. That's obscene. As much as I'd like to have one, there is no way I'm going to pay that much.
Even Canada is missing several features compared to the US. They lack Apple Cash, Apple Card and the new more detailed maps on Apple Maps. As I said before, no other country gets what the US gets from Apple and that makes it stupid to buy their products if you live outside the US. Even Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam, despite being US territories, lack several features and services available to users in the 50 states.
 

lartola

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2017
976
391
Yes. But they're as close as it gets.
More than Canada, I think UK or Australia is as close as it gets. They’re always the first to get everything after the US and even got News much earlier than Canada did just because they speak english (Canada has french as an official language too, so it had to be supported in News and that delayed its arrival).
 

manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
7,172
2,993
Yeah I know, but even if that weren’t the case and the price were the same in the US and outside it would be unfair for users outside the US, who will always be missing one or more features, to pay the same price as US users who always get all the features. Especially in regions such as Africa or spanish speaking Latin America, where users are missing the vast majority (more than 50%) of the features and services that US users do get on apple’s products.

Just to give you an example: users in Mexico and the rest of Hispanic America pay at least 15-20% more than US users for an iphone or apple watch due to taxes, exchange rates, etc. Yet those users don’t get a lot of features that US users do get use such as News, Apple Pay, Apple Cash, the Apple Card, ECG on the apple watch, Covid 19 exposure notifications, most of the features of Apple Maps and any other new feature or service that apple may announce when they launch new hardware. Then why are they still required to pay for apple products at full price and even a bit more due to taxes and exchange rates when they can’t use more than half their features?
Probably the main reason is that it is advantageous to live in a large market. The larger the market you live in, the larger the return on investment it is for firms to 'localize' their products and services. Where localization includes a variety of things: translating into the local language, getting local regulatory approval, just setting up an import pipeline, negotiating deals with local partners (cellphone carriers, banks, media, etc.), adjust everything that interfaces with the local legal system, eg, warranty rules.

There are other reasons beyond the size of the market. How similar is it to the home market in regard to language, legal system, consumer preferences, etc.? How high are local taxes and import duties? How stable is the exchange rate? How good is the logistical and financial infrastructure? Is there noticeable corruption? Will the crime rate add some extra burdens?

VAT is just the most easily comparable difference; it is to some degree just the tip of the iceberg.
 
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