Apple Pay launched in France with the support of four card issuers and the prospect of two more, including Orange, following soon, but the service is missing some leading names.
It is supported by Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne (known collectively as the BPCE Group, the country’s second largest banking group), as well as Carrefour Banque, the bank owned by the French supermarket, and Ticket Restaurant, which offers a prepaid meal card.
The launch also has the support of Visa and MasterCard.
In addition, Boon, a prepaid payments app developed by German firm Wirecard, and Orange are billed as coming soon.
Apple France does not provide details of how Apple Pay will work with Orange. The operator launched a prepaid app called Orange Cash with Visa last year. Users can top up the account and use the funds to make contactless payments. Orange also has ambitious plans to become a bank, starting in 2017.
The French debut were previously flagged up at last month’s WWDC as coming “in the next few months”, along with Hong Kong (see below) and Switzerland.
Earlier this year, it was reported the sticking point in negotiations with French banks was the fee demanded by Apple.
Apple’s list of partner banks has a few conspicuous absences, including BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole Group and Societe Generale.
The US company did list a number of retailers which support the French debut, including Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche, Carrefour, FNAC, Total, Eram and Flunch. Orange stores are coming soon, Apple said.
Apple Pay lands in Hong Kong
Apple’s payment service also debuted in Hong Kong with widespread support from leading banks, as well as Visa, MasterCard and American Express. The service also has the support of local retailers.
In addtion, Tap & Go, a mobile payment service run by a subsidiary of local operator HKT, said it will “soon” offer Apple Pay to its customers.
The banking line up includes Bank of China (Hong Kong), HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, DBS and Starndard Chartered. Bank of East Asia, along with Tap & Go, is coming soon.