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Apple Pay debuts in Hong Kong with American Express, Mastercard and Visa support

Just hours after Apple Pay launched in France, Apple on Tuesday activated the in-house mobile payments service for customers in Hong Kong with initial support for Mastercard, Visa and American Express credit cards.

Announced through Apple's regional website, Hong Kong is the ninth major market to net Apple Pay services after France, which just gained access to the product earlier today.

At launch, users in Hong Kong can provision Mastercard and Visa credit cards offered through the Bank of China, DBS, Hang Seng Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered. American Express is also offering integration with its own branded cards. Apple's website notes future compatibility with BEA and HKT touchless payment network Tap & Go.

As announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Hong Kong boasts a huge selection of participating retailers at launch. Apple lists support from 40 major chains, including its own Apple Store locations, as well as ten apps offering day-one support for in-app Apple Pay purchases. The maturity of Hong Kong's NFC-enabled point of sale terminal network, and close integration with backend payments processors, means Apple Pay is also available at many small- to medium-sized brick-and-mortar outlets not mentioned on Apple's website.

Apple Pay's arrival in Hong Kong comes mere hours after the service launched in France, and less than two weeks after another recent debut in Switzerland.

Apple first introduced Apple Pay to U.S. customers in 2014 as part of iOS 8, later expanding availability to Australia, Canada, China, Singapore and the UK.

Today's launch is the result of accelerated efforts to increase Apple Pay's footprint across Europe and Asia. Apple Pay chief Jennifer Bailey earlier this year said the goal is to bring the payments solution to every major market in which Apple does business.