Apple Pay in action

Apple has hired Mary Carol Harris, former Director of Mobile at Visa Europe to help bring the NFC-based Apple Pay mobile payments system to Europe, PaymentEye reported Monday.

She’s been with Visa since 2008 and previously headed up NFC at Telefónica, Spain’s leading multinational by market cap and one of the largest private telecommunications company in the world.

Introduced alongside new iPhones earlier this month, Apple’s mobile payments solution is scheduled to debut in the United States on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in October, and on the Apple Watch early next year, extending the service to over 200 million owners of the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s devices worldwide.

Harris has fourteen year experience in digital and mobile payments, including NFC technology utilized by the Apple Pay. Harris’s LinkedIn profile lists her an employee of Apple Europe.

If Apple Pay is to roll out across Europe, Apple will need to sign partnerships with leading banks in Europe though no partnerships have been announced at this time.

Mary Carol Harris (LinkedIn profile 001)

Kirk McElhearn of MacWorld opined that Apple Pay may face adoption issues in Europe, where banks use credit and debit cards based on a chip-and-PIN (personal identification number) system first used in France more than 20 years ago, as opposed to the swipe-and-sign system more common in the United States.

Because using an embedded chip and a PIN is more secure than a magnetic strip, “fraud is substantially lower in Europe than it is in the United States, where it cost $5.3 billion in 2013,” wrote McElhearn.

Check out Harris discussing the future of mobile payments at Mobile World Congress in January 2014.

Apple says that the Apple Pay relies on “a groundbreaking NFC antenna design,” a dedicated chip called the Secure Element and the security and convenience of Touch ID.

More on Apple Pay can be read in Apple’s press release and on the Apple Pay webpage.

[PaymentEye via Cult of Mac]

  • Zunaid Ahmed

    At least apple is trying harder than google to expand apple pay, I still have my doubts but this may be a break through. Sometimes innovation is not just creating something new, it’s implementing and making it widely available.

    • toortoor

      I am moving on from apple to sony xperia z soon, but this might be the one thing I will miss. from what we have seen so far on apple’s efforts towards this, I think apple does have the capacity to make this (NFC payments) a success and widely supported (something others couldn’t), and this could become something really useful.
      it’s also a bit the power of the brand name 🙂

      • Zunaid Ahmed

        I am currently using xperia z2, its an awesome phone, try it out, oh yeah, z3 just came out, but its not much of an upgrade from z2.

      • toortoor

        the aim is for the z3 :), I still have to get rid my 5s first, though it’s a bit difficult moving on after ~5 years, the apps, the purchases and etc.., its like a divorce you want get but it’s hard because you have kids 🙂

      • Domi

        I’ve got a z1 compact and i’m having some issues. I’ve ordered an iP6 now because i can’t live whitout a jailbreak.

      • R3D

        NFC payment (PayPass) is already widely supported in Europe. This is why Apple has to push it hard if they want their own payment system to be accepted by people.

      • toortoor

        PayPass happens to be something I use every single day and it’s mostly done with the chip in your credit/debit card. not all banks have adapted this technology in EU (though it’s rapidly rising) but even fewer support mobile NFC payments (usually the bank has their own app for NFC enabled phones, or their own nfc-chip/sdcard, if they even have one).
        furthermore google wallet of the andoird is useless and unsupported in EU,
        in US, even though there are lots of places where they do have the equipment to accept nfc or paypass payments (if your bank supports it), it’s not very popular, and few people actually know how to use it.
        it is possible, the brand name of “Apple” could change that. companies, banks, retailers, etc might become interested in getting into bed with “Supporting the iPhone”.

  • Edvard Rølvaag

    That’s good news for us in Europe. I was a bit worried this wouldn’t come to Europe, at least not until a year or two, but this may change that. “We shall se…” (LTiOS)

    • S4mu3l

      We already have the technology in Europe, just missing the negotiations between Apple and the banks.

    • Jeffrey Feuerstein

      Well Apple hired a dutch guy to ‘translate features in iOS’ (Siri obviously) about 1.5 years ago but I still don’t see Siri for dutch people coming so I’m still a bit sceptical about Siri, iTunes Radio and Apple Pay coming to Europe any time soon…

  • icezar

    In my country we have the so called contactless cards. They basically function the same as NFC payments. Now banks are selling payment “stickers” that you can stick to your phone or to your case and is all good. I don’t see how Apple Pay is better. For me Apple Pay has 0 benefits

    • Exactly how it has been going on here in Canada for years. Apple Pay is the same thing but now you can centralize all your credit cards in 1 place, similar to PassBook…