iPhone and Apple Watch users in Russia, Kenya, and Taiwan could soon begin using Apple Pay to make payments for goods and services.
DigiTimes reports Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission has begun accepting applications from the country’s banks to allow them to offer Apple’s contactless payments solution to their customers. The report indicates the service will initially be limited the use of credit cards, with debit cards being enabled at a future time.
Taiwan’s big four banks – CTBC Bank, Cathay United Commercial Bank, E.SUN Commercial Bank, and Taishin International Bank – are expected to offer Apple Pay to their customers. The service should be available by the end of the year at the earliest.
Meanwhile Vedomosti reports that its sources tell them that Russian banks and retailers have been testing Apple Pay for several weeks, and an official launch could take place as early as next week. However, while one source indicates the technology has been working flawlessly, another indicates some issues were cropping up. Competing contactless payments system Samsung Pay beat Apple Pay to the market, debuting in the country on Thursday.
Bloomberg notes Kenya’s largest bank, KCB Group, is in discussions with several companies concerning digital payments, via its new financial technology unit. CEO Joshua Oigara told Bloomberg that Apple, Facebook, Alibaba, Tencent, Google, Samsung, and PayPal are all potential payments partners.
If Apple does prove to be a partner in Kenya, it would be Apple Pay’s first entry into Africa. AppleInsider notes mobile payments are nothing new in Kenya, as Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform has been around since 2007. M-Pesa transactions for the first 11 months of 2014 were valued at nearly half the entire country’s GDP.