By Lance Whitney for Cnet
The mobile payments service is now available in nine countries, with two new regions added in the past 24 hours.
Apple Pay has arrived in the land of boutiques, brasseries and Bordeaux wine — France.
The French website for Apple’s payments service now shows Apple Pay to be compatible with Mastercard and Visa credit and debit cards issued by Carrefour Banque and Ticket Restaurant as well as Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne, an assemblage that includes France’s second largest banking group (making up more than 20 percent of payment cards in circulation).
Credit card support at two other French issuers — Boon and Orange — is listed as “coming soon.”
In Hong Kong, Apple Pay works with American Express, Visa and Mastercard credit cards from banks HSBC, Bank of China (Hong Kong), Hang Seng, DBS and Standard Chartered. The Bank of East Asia and HKT will be available soon.
The trek to Hong Kong and France mark the second and third new regions for Apple Pay this month. In early July, the payments service expanded to neighboring Switzerland.
Apple Pay has become well-established among banks and retailers in the United States, where it supports all four major US credit cards. As rival services such as Samsung Pay and Google’sAndroid Pay ramp up, Apple Pay needs to achieve a greater presence in other countries.
Several retailers located in France have already joined the Apple Pay bandwagon. The webpage points to support from the Apple Store itself, Bocage, Cojean, Eram, Sephora and Total, among others. Retailers listed as coming soon include Boulanger and Galeries Lafayette. Consumers in France will also soon be able to add loyalty cards to the Apple Wallet app and then use Apple Pay to make purchases and tap into their accumulated loyalty points.
More than three dozen merchants will immediately accept the payment service in Hong Kong, including 7-11, Mannings, Wellcome, Jasons Food & Living, Sa Sa and Pizza Hut. Apps that will work with Apple Pay are Homeaway, Cathay Pacific Mobile, SnapTee, Deliveroo, RedSol, Klook, HBX, Foodpanda and Casetify.
At its Worldwide Developers Conference in mid-June, Apple said that Apple Pay would expand to three more countries this summer. Hong Kong ends that list. The service is also available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, China and Singapore.
Apple Pay is expanding to the Mac as well. At WWDC, Apple revealed that Mac users would be able to use Apple Pay to purchase goods online from supported merchants via its Safari browser.