Apple’s payment service will be available in five more countries this year and next, but only for American Express cardholders.
The service is currently offered in the US and UK to cardholders of all major credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard as well as American Express.
However, there is a perception that Apple has moved slowly to rolling out to further markets, hampered by the complexity of negotiation with card firms, banks and retailers.
Now Apple and Amex have struck a partnership that will see the payment service arriving in Australia and Canada before the end of this year. Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong will follow in 2016.
Tim Cook announced the deal on Apple’s Q4 results call, without specifying when the payment service will become available to users of other cards in the five countries.
Eligible consumer, small business and corporate Amex cardholders in the five markets will be able to pay with iPhone or Apple Watch in stores where contactless payments and Amex cards are accepted.
Cook also said merchant reward programmes will start to go live in the US on Apple Pay with “popular retailers” in the next few weeks.
And he said the payment service is seeing double digit growth in transaction volumes month after month. The most recent major retailer signing up with Apple was Starbucks. The growth rate is interesting, given a report this week by research firm Phoenix Marketing International saying US adoption of Apple Pay is growing only slowly during 2015.