Apple partners with American Express to take Apple Pay global

Apple will expand its mobile payments system Apple Pay internationally by partnering with American Express

Apple will partner with American Express to bring Apple Pay to Spain, Australia and Canada among others in a global expansion.

Chief executive Tim Cook said the mobile payment platform would arrive in Australia and Canada before the end of 2015, with Hong Kong and Singapore following in the new year, joining the UK and US.

The company last night announced record-breaking fourth quarter financial results, revealing it had made $53.4bn (£35bn) in the last 12 months.

First announced last September alongside the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple Pay was brought to the UK in July. It uses near-field communication (NFC) chips embedded in the iPhone 6 onwards in conjunction with its Touch ID fingerprint scanner to pay for goods and services as you would a contactless card in shops, or to make single touch purchases within apps and websites.

You can also use it to travel around London’s TfL networks, and register cards to an Apple Watch.

Using Apple Pay for TfL services? Make sure your device is charged

Payments administered via smartphone are a burgeoning financial sector. Cook said 1m credit cards were activated for Apple Pay use within 72 hours of its availability in the US last year, making it the largest mobile payment system to date.

In the wake of Apple Pay, both Samsung and Google have announced their respective rivals Samsung Pay and Android Pay, though neither have launched in the UK as of yet.

Apple Pay users are more satisfied than other contactless payment users, with over a third of shoppers who owned an Apple device using the service, a report from customer research firm eDigitalResearch suggested.

British consumers are increasingly turning to contactless payment methods, after more than £2.5bn was spent using contactless cards during the first six months of 2015, the UK Cards Association has said. Last month, the association raised the limit payable by contactless cards in single transactions from £20 to £30.

In the US, around 16.4m smartphone ‘proximity payments’ were made during 2014, according to research from market researcher eMarketer. The firm predicts that figure will more than double to reach 37.5bn by 2016.

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