Visa is hoping to work with Apple in a bid to persuade the technology giant to bring its contactless payment platform Apple Pay to Europe.

Apple said yesterday that Apple Pay will start being rolled out across the US in October but the Cupertino firm did not reveal when it was going to introduce the platform to Europe.

Steve Perry, chief digital officer at Visa Europe, said: “We are working closely with Apple and with our member banks to bring this new service to market in Europe."

Apple Pay is compatible with Visa, Mastercard and American Express providing the card has been issued by one of the six US banks that Apple has signed partnership agreements with. 

“Apple’s entry to the market represents a critical piece of the mobile payments jigsaw,” said Perry. “This is a pivotal moment for digital payments and one that demonstrates the momentum behind mobile and contactless services.

“Visa Europe has led the rollout of NFC payments ever since we launched the first contactless cards and terminals in 2007. Today there are more than 1.5 million Visa contactless terminals in stores across Europe – all ready to take mobile payments. Apple’s decision to enter the market reflects the scale of opportunity that exists in digital payments today. Its support will drive awareness and usage of contactless services around the world – we anticipate a ‘halo effect’ that will benefit all players in the mobile payments ecosystem.”

Apple's mobile payment service, which will be available on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch, is likely to have more of an impact on end users in the US where near-field communication (NFC) payments are yet to really take off.

Apple claims that 220,000 US stores will be able to accept payment through Apple Pay when it is launched, including Subway, Macy's and ToysRUs. 

But Apple is not the first of the large technology companies to develop its own mobile payments service. In 2011, Google already launched its own NFC-enabled payment platform in the US in the form of Google Wallet.

However, making digital payments through mobile phones is still a relatively new concept that is yet to really take off anywhere with only a handful of companies building contactless payment technology into smartphones. 

In the UK, mobile operator EE has developed a 'Cash on Tap' payment app that allows people with an NFC-enabled phones to pay for items in the same way as they would with a contactless payment card. 

The operator's app received backing from Transport for London last month when the travel body announced that it was accepting payments via EE's app on its buses, adding that people will be able to pay for Tube journeys through the app as of September 16.

Apple had not responded to Techworld questions by the time of publication. 

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