Apple on Wednesday launched its mobile payments service Apple Pay in Belgium. Customers in this country can now add their MasterCard or Maestro debit or credit cards to the Wallet app on their device in order to use it to pay for goods and services in stores, online and in apps via an iPhone, Apple Watch or Mac.
Belgium’s largest bank BNP Paribas is Apple’s exclusive partner at launch. Other banks in the country are said to embrace Apple Pay in the coming weeks and months, according to the Belgian newspaper De Tijd which first reported about the impending launch yesterday. Google’s own mobile payment services launched in Belgium about a year and a half ago.
Belgium is already big on contactless payments. In Belgium, merchants and coffee shops support other forms of mobile payments, like scanning a QR Code next to the cash register to transfer the requested amount. Contactless payments via NFC-outfitted credit cards, however, require PIN code verification (or Touch ID/Face ID) for sums above 25 euros.
Apple’s mobile payments service is scheduled to expand to Germany in the next days, and come soon to Saudi Arabia. Apple Pay uses NFC technology and tokenization to securely process transactions without sending any private user details to the merchant.