According to several reports over the weekend, Apple is struggling to get the same level of support for its payments brand Apple Pay, outside of the US.
Apple is alleged to have begun to contact financial institutions in Ireland
and the UK ahead of a possible rollout of its Apple Pay technology later this year, recent findings indicate. The company has been trying to introduce its mobile-payment system in many regions around the world, especially Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.
In China, iPhone users will have to wait to use Apple Pay because the latest update to the smartphone’s operating system does not support bank cards from UnionPay.
UnionPay, the only company that handles interbank payments in China, was not supported on Apple’s latest operating system (iOS 8.3), which was released on April 9.
According to the source, a UnionPay employee who wished to remain anonymous said the company has not reached any agreements with Apple, and no timetable for cooperation has been set.
Apple started negotiating with the major Chinese banks last year. The discussions did not go well, a source close to them said, and the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China was not interested in any cooperation.
In the US, Apple Pay gets 0.15% of the 2% fee paid by merchants for each credit-card payment and half a penny for each debit card payment.
However, Chinese banks argue those charges are too steep. Many large banks that are already part of mature POS networks do not want to lose such a large percentage of their profits in a deal with Apple Pay.
Visa and MasterCard have both signed up for their credit cards to be used in conjunction with the system.
A spokesman for Apple said that the company had no updated position on plans to launch Apple Pay in Ireland or in Europe. However, the payment service is expected to arrive in Europe within the next six months with some analysts saying it could land by the end of the summer.