Since the launch of Apple Pay in USA in October 2014 few countries has been added. UK was added in July this year and latest countries launched is Canada and Australia. Apple has also told that it will launch in Singapore, Spain and Hong Kong in 2016.
So how is Apple choosing markets for Apple Pay and in what order? And why is Spain second in Europe and not high Apple use countries like the Nordic countries with very high market shares, or large European countries like Germany, Italy and Poland?
I believe Apple goes after only a few criteria’s, where the infrastructure and readiness of enabled contactless payment terminals is the most important one. Spain has most enabled NFC-terminals in Europe, approx 600k of Europe’s total of 2,5M, and is therefore next country in line.
Other countries with nice installed base are Poland (350k), France (405k) and not to forget Turkey, with over 600k enabled NFC-terminals. Germany and Italy is still counted for as “cash countries” and has surprisingly low volumes, 60k (!) in Germany and 150k in Italy. But signs is that at least Germany will enable quite some over the next two years.
Two more criteria for Apple to choose country is of course penetration of smartphones and market share, where the Nordic countries and BeNeLux must be interesting. Third criteria is “how easy” it is for Apple to get the share of the interchange fee from the local banks. With the new interchange cap valid in EU from this month, stating max 0,2% for debit cards and max 0,3% for credit cards, it may be hard for Apple to get the rumoured 0,15%..
My guess is that next European countries to be announced for Apple Pay is France and Poland.