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Apple Pay To Reach UK In 2015

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in talks with several banks in the United Kingdom to launch Apple Pay in the country in early 2015. According to The Telegraph, unnamed sources familiar with the ongoing talks stated that Apple is confident that it will be able to launch Apple Pay in the first half of 2015. At least one of Britain’s biggest banks has expressed concerns that the launch of the payment service will require it to share too much personal and financial information about its customers with Apple. However, it is doubtful that any major bank in the U.K. will want to opt out of Apple Pay.

Apple’s mobile payments service relies on established near-field communication technology for its transactions, allowing users to tap their phone on a terminal to make a payment to a vendor or retailer. The company has built this tap-to-pay functionality into the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. A credit card or debit card must be linked to the account for it to work properly.

Apple Pay was launched in the United States in October and quickly became the largest NFC-based mobile payment service in the country. In November, Apple reported that Apple Pay accounted for 1 percent of all digital payment dollars. The service’s closest competitor, Google Wallet, had a 4 percent share of the market in the same period, but that payment service was launched nearly three years earlier in 2011. While Apple Pay is currently supported by a relatively limited list of merchants, the strong showing since its release indicates that rapid expansion may be on the horizon.

Apple has been seeking an international rollout of Apple Pay for some time now. While the service is currently limited to the U.S., the company is also seeking to launch the service in Europe and China. Apple Pay is already compatible with global systems, which will significantly reduce the difficulty of the roll out of the service. The biggest hurdle Apple is facing is the negotiations it must conduct with numerous banks and government agencies regarding the payment system to ensure compatibility around the world.

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