Apple moved closer to complete availability of its mobile payments system in Europe, with a launch in Belgium marking the 20th market on the continent to receive the service.
The company now covers the majority of the most populous countries in Europe, with notable exceptions including Germany and the Netherlands, which are expected to be in the next batch of launches.
Rival payment services using NFC connectivity are already present in Belgium: Google launched Android Pay in the country in March 2017 and a number of banks offer contactless payment services. Samsung is yet to launch its wallet into the market.
The launch confirms rumours earlier in November in the Belgian press.
Apple added several European markets to Apple Pay over the last year with Norway, Poland and Ukraine among a batch of announced in May and subsequently launched.
Although the company expanded its footprint significantly during 2018, its availability in regions outside of Europe and North America is limited.
In Asia Pacific the service can be used in Australia, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, China (including Hong Kong), Japan and Taiwan. While Latin America is limited to Brazil. In the Middle East the service is only offered in the UAE.Subscribe to our daily newsletter