Ynet reports Apple has signed an agreement to bring Apple Pay to Israel by the end of the year. The Cupertino firm signed a deal with Isracard, one of Israel’s leading credit card companies. Rival card companies Max and ICC are also reported to be ready for launch.
Isracard announced to the stock exchange that a four-year deal had been signed with Apple to allow its card to be used with Apple’s digital payments system. Isracard is the only public company among the credit companies operating in Israel, meaning it was obliged to report to the stock exchange.
The Isracard Group has been operating for more than 40 years and locally issues American Express, MasterCard, and Visa cards, as well as its own-branded Isracard. Over 4 million cards are in current use by Isracard customers in Israel, and over 100,000 businesses accept them.
The Ynet report also noted that competing card company Max had signed an agreement with Apple several months ago and has completed all required testing, which included a pilot conducted in Israel in recent weeks. Cal has also signed with Apple and is reportedly ready for launch. Meanwhile, Isracard has reported to the stock exchange that its Apple Pay readiness is not yet fully in place.
The law in Israel requires all large companies to be ready to accept contactless payment by November 30. Many Israeli businesses have already adopted NFC-based payment systems offered by Europay, MasterCard, and Visa.
However, unlike Android devices, Apple restricts access to the iPhone’s NFC chip to only its own Wallet app, which requires that financial institutions must sign an Apple Pay agreement in order to register their credit or debit card in the Apple Wallet.