Enigmatic Apple CEO Tim Cook used his company’s fourth quarter earnings call to make an extremely important announcement regarding the future of the company’s contactless payment platform, Apple Pay. After announcing extremely positive results that included the sale of 48 million iPhones and quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion, Cook also announced a strategic and highly beneficial partnership with American Express that will see Apple Pay extended into a number of territories that the company classes as “key global markets”.
The existence of the new partnership with one of the world’s largest and immediately recognized financial authorities will mean that Apple Pay will become available to American Express customers in Canada and Australia before the close of 2015. The contactless payment method that Apple has invested so much time and resource into, will then be expanded into Spain, Singapore, and Hong Kong markets in early 2016. Once again, this support will be offered to American Express customers in those territories.
Apple’s first introduction of Apple Pay managed to excite and capture the imagination of a lot of consumers who could now enjoy a simple payment solution that could be invoked with the flick of a fist using the Apple Watch, or a simple swipe of a compatible iPhone. The rollout of the payment platform has been a lot slower than Apple would have hoped, partly due to the fact that it is continuing to build relationships and strike deals with financial institutions across the world with the hope of offering Apple Pay to their customers.
Rollout of the platform in the United States was swift, with a seemingly never-ending list of financial companies and retail stores in the U.S. clambering over themselves to offer the payment service to their customers. Things were slightly slow in the United Kingdom, with the eventual rollout happening in July this year, and currently being supported by thirteen banks or credit companies, including American Express and the Nationwide Building Society. Now that it has key partners on-board, Apple is likely hopeful that the rollout will gather that much needed pace.
It’s currently unknown if Apple is working closely with other banking entities within countries like Australia, Canada, and Hong Kong in the hope of convincing them to accept Apple Pay. However, it’s unlikely they would make that announcement without having more than just American Express in the pipeline.