According to French outlet Les Echos, Apple will be bringing its mobile payment solution to France, a 66 million people country, by the end of this year. Citing several sources familiar with the matter, the publication reports that a handful of major French banks and financial institutions are in the process of finalizing talks with Apple on supporting Apple Pay by the end of the year, assuming the two parties will come to terms regarding Apple’s commission on each transaction.
The sticking point in negotiations, as always, appears to be Apple’s commission on each transaction carried out over the Apple Pay system. The story mentions that Apple might have a hard time persuading French banks to agree to a 5-Euro-cent fee per transaction.
Local banks already operate on a slim 0.2 percent transaction fee, which generates them just 9 Euro cents per an average debit card transaction of 45 euros (approximately $50).
French banks may corner Apple into agreeing to their terms because the Cupertino firm has already agreed, according to Chinese press, to as much as fifty percent lower transaction fees for Apple Pay in China versus what Apple is getting in the United States.
Specifically, Apple agreed to take zero percent on Apple Pay transactions in China during the first two years, after which it would keep 0.07 percent per transaction, or half its standard 0.15 percent fee it charges banks in the United States.
The report goes on to mention that difficult negotiations with French banks have prompted Apple to abandon the simultaneous launch of its mobile payment service in the country. Instead, the company will allow each participating bank and credit card issuer to roll out support for Apple Pay at their own pace.
Just a week ago, Apple brought Apple Pay to China, the 1.33 billion people country in which mobile payment systems are being widely used. Apple’s solution is supported by 19 of China’s biggest lenders as partners which together account for 80 percent of China’s credit and debit cards that are eligible for Apple Pay.
Apple Pay is currently available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and China.