Apple Pay Launches in Serbia

Apple Pay is launching in Serbia today, according to tipsters who got in touch with MacRumors.

ProCredit bank is launching ‌Apple Pay‌ in the country as of June 30, according to Mastercard's Serbian website. Raiffeisen bank is also believed to be coming on board with support for Apple's digital payment method.

The support means that ProCredit and Raiffeisen customers will be able to add their Mastercard credit cards and bank cards to the Wallet app by tapping the plus button in the top-right corner.

‌Apple Pay‌‌ can be used anywhere contactless payments are accepted with a compatible iPhone or Apple Watch. It is also accepted by select apps and websites.

(Thanks, Ninoslav and another tipster from Serbia!)
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Full Rollout of Apple Pay Support for NYC Subways Delayed Until December

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been working to bring its OMNY contactless fare payment system to all buses and subway stations throughout the city, but the rollout of the system has been delayed due to the ongoing public health crisis, reports The Wall Street Journal.


OMNY tap-and-go fare payments with Apple Pay Express Transit support became available at one of New York City's major transportation hubs, Penn Station, back in December 2019, followed by several more stations in early 2020. The rollout was meant to continue on in March and the following months, but installation of digital readers was stopped in late March.

Installation work resumed at the beginning of May, but the completion of OMNY has been delayed by about two months. It was supposed to be finished by October 2020, but now the full system won't be available until the end of December.

While work on OMNY subway support was paused for a couple of months, the bus rollout of the system was accelerated. The MTA now expects to offer contactless payment support on all Manhattan buses by the end of July, and citywide by the end of the year.

At the current time, Staten Island bus stations and about half of the 472 subway stations in New York support ‌Apple Pay‌ through OMNY.

With the OMNY contactless payment system, riders are able to hold an iPhone or Apple Watch near a contactless reader to pay their fare with no authentication necessary, allowing for speedy passage through public transit hubs.

The New York MTA's goal is to bring contactless payment options to all of its subway stations and bus routes. MetroCards, which predate the OMNY system, will continue to work on subway and bus systems until 2023.

Right now, OMNY is limited to full-fare, pay-per-ride usage. Support for 7-day and 30-day fares won't be available until early 2021.
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Hong Kong’s Octopus Card Now Supports Apple Pay

Hong Kong's popular Octopus card for transit and retail purchases now supports Apple Pay, allowing the card to be added to the Wallet app for contactless payments with an iPhone or Apple Watch.

As noted by the blog Ata Distance, Apple Pay support for the Octopus card was introduced today and is still rolling out to all users in Hong Kong. Express Transit mode is supported, allowing for tap-and-go payment without needing to authenticate the iPhone or Apple Watch with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode.

To add a card to the Wallet app, tap on the plus sign in the top-right corner and follow the instructions.

2019 was a big year for Apple Pay with Express Transit mode, with major cities like London and New York City rolling out support. The feature is available in several other cities, too, including Chicago, Portland, Sydney, and Beijing.
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Westpac Becomes Last of Australia’s Four Big Banks to Support Apple Pay

Westpac has become the last of Australia's big four banks to announce Apple Pay support for its customers. The country's oldest bank revealed on Tuesday that it had enabled the new service, following similar moves by ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank, and National Australia Bank.

"We are pleased to announce that Westpac customers can now use ‌Apple Pay‌ to make fast and secure payments. This comes at an important time for our customers, who are looking for an alternative to cash," Westpac Group chief executive of consumer David Lindberg said.

"We have seen a significant increase in customers using digital banking in recent weeks as more Australians stay at home. With the introduction of ‌Apple Pay‌, it will now be even easier for customers to pay for goods and services in stores, via apps or online without the need for a card or wallet."
As noted by ZDNet, Westpac actually announced the adoption of ‌Apple Pay‌ across several of its financial services providers back in December, but regular Westpac customers were told they had to wait until June 2020.

Westpac's ‌Apple Pay‌ support includes compatibility with eftpos (electronic funds transfer at point of sale), the local payments scheme and national debit card system accepted across the country. The technology makes it possible for retailers to directly receive funds from a customer’s bank account via their debit card through a secure Australian payment network.

Westpac was one of several banks that collectively tried to negotiate with Apple to gain access to the NFC chip within Apple's devices to allow their own payments services to work on iOS devices alongside ‌Apple Pay‌.

The banks argued that access to the NFC chip in the iPhone would allow them to offer competing wallets, which would lead to increased competition and consumer choice in digital wallets and increased innovation and investment in digital wallets.

However, Apple does not allow third-party access to the NFC chip because of security concerns, and the company put pressure on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to deny the banks the right to negotiate a deal, which was the eventual outcome.

The banks involved in the dispute resisted implementing ‌Apple Pay‌ throughout the attempts at collective bargaining, although ‌Apple Pay‌ has been available in Australia for quite some time through partnerships with American Express and ANZ.
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Apple Pay Coming Soon to Switzerland’s Largest Bank UBS

Switzerland's largest bank UBS today announced that Apple Pay is coming soon, as noted by Macprime. The bank says that the rollout should be completed within the coming weeks.

A teaser tweet indicates that UBS will offer Apple Pay for its Visa credit cards at a minimum.

Apple Pay first launched in Switzerland in July 2016 with support for MasterCard and Visa cards issued by Bonus Card, Cornèr Bank, and Swiss Bankers.

To add a card to Apple Pay, open the Wallet app and tap the plus symbol in the top-right corner.

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Apple Highlights Four Causes Users Can Donate to Instantly With Apple Pay

Apple has begun promoting Apple Pay as a way for people to donate to several causes amid the ongoing global health crisis. Apple has highlighted four causes in particular that users can donate too with ‌Apple Pay‌. All the fundraising appeals are on behalf of GoFundMe.org.


America's Food Fund, launched by Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Apple, is working to ensure that all people have reliable access to food in this critical time of need.


Frontline Responders Fund is focusing all its resources on getting critical supplies including masks, gowns, and gloves to medical professionals in hospitals across the world.


The Mental Health Fund aims to support the work of several organizations hosting text-based hotlines that offer crisis intervention and a gateway to long-term care.


The Small Business Relief Fund provides micro-grants to qualifying small businesses negatively impacted by the health crisis. The initiative will supply financial assistance and support to U.S. businesses by providing grants, tools, and resources to help during the crisis.

Apple says ‌Apple Pay‌ is the easiest way to donate to the causes you care about: "With no forms to fill out or accounts to create, you can instantly give with just a tap."
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Apple Pay’s Express Transit Feature Now Supported in 275 Chinese Cities

From today, iPhone users across China can set up their T-Union cards for Express Transit, Apple's contactless transit payment system. The new support is a result of a partnership between Apple and China T-Union, a contactless transit card currently used in 275 Chinese cities.


Express Transit is an Apple Pay feature that allows users to pay fares with a swipe of their ‌iPhone‌ or Apple Watch at the turnstile without having to unlock their device first with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode.

Express Transit was already in use in Beijing and Shanghai thanks to integration with local transit cards, but the new partnership between Apple and China T-Union essentially extends Express Transit nationwide.

Apple has a web page that it updates with the countries and regions that support the feature. Other places currently include London with Transport for London (TfL), New York City with Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) terminals, and Japan with all forms of transit that accept Suica.
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Publix Rolling Out Apple Pay at Checkout

Publix has indicated that it is rolling out support for contactless payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay, as noted by the blog Appleosophy.


The supermarket chain informed employees of this news in a bulletin shared on Reddit, noting that its payment terminals will be updated with the contactless payments symbol where accepted. Publix has over 1,200 stores in the Southeastern U.S., with nearly two thirds of those locations in Florida, but it is unclear how many will accept Apple Pay.

Apple Pay support arrives at an opportune time, allowing shoppers to avoid using the frequently touched PIN pad when paying for groceries.
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Opera Browser Now Lets U.S. Users Buy Bitcoin With Apple Pay

Opera has announced that users of its mobile and desktop apps can now buy cryptocurrency through the browser using Apple Pay.


Opera was the first browser to include a built-in crypto wallet across its iOS and Mac browsers, and was one of the first to protect users against disguised online cryptocurrency mining, or "cryptojacking."

In partnership with Wyre, a US cryptocurrency-brokerage firm, the Norwegian company is now letting Opera users in the U.S. purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum using a debit card or ‌Apple Pay‌.

Charles Hamel, head of crypto at Opera browsers, explained how this integration supports Opera's long-term vision of making blockchain technology relevant beyond speculation:
"Allowing our users to easily load cryptocurrency into their browser's digital wallet is very powerful, as it connects the Web to a global internet-native payment network.

"In the past, obtaining cryptocurrencies was a cumbersome process that took hours or even days. When you compare it with this seamless solution, which takes less than 30 seconds, it really is a gamechanger," added Hamel.
Easy crypto top ups are available in iOS browser Opera Touch as well as in the crypto wallet available in its desktop browser. As for users outside the U.S., Opera says it plans to introduce a similar crypto-purchasing feature to more countries "very soon."


Opera Touch is available for iPhone and iPad in several languages and can be downloaded directly from the App Store. [Direct Link] The Opera browser for Mac Desktop is a free download available on the Opera website.
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Apple Pay Could Soon Expand to Mexico

Apple Pay could soon be available in Mexico, based on reports from iPhone users in Mexico who have been able to add their Banregio cards to the Wallet app.


One user on Twitter whose tweet was shared by 9to5Mac was able to add his Banregio card to the Wallet app after setting his region to the United States. The card was able to be successfully added, and there was text included for verification purposes, but the verification process did not work as ‌Apple Pay‌ has not officially launched in the country.

Cards from banks other than Banregio were not able to be added to the Wallet app on the ‌iPhone‌, suggesting ‌Apple Pay‌ in Mexico may be limited to Banregio at launch.

When ‌Apple Pay‌ launches in Mexico, it will be the second country in Latin America to support the payments service. Apple launched ‌Apple Pay‌ in Brazil in 2018, but has not expanded it to other Latin America countries. ‌Apple Pay‌ has also been available in the United States and Canada for years.

Apple maintains a complete list of the countries where ‌Apple Pay‌ is available on its support site, and we have a detailed Apple Pay roundup with everything you need to know about Apple's payments service.

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