Apple Pay debuts in Poland with support for 8 banks
As promised in May, Apple on Tuesday flipped the switch on Apple Pay in Poland with eight regional banks, introducing the digital payments standard to a market well accustomed to mobile payments.
Apple updated its regional website to advertise availability of the new payment option. Though the page includes Polish text, graphical assets are pulled from Apple's U.S. Apple Pay webpage, suggesting region-specific photos featuring cards from local banks have yet to be produced.
At rollout, a total of eight financial institutions are providing support for the service, including BGZ BNP Paribas, Bank Zachodni WBK, Alior Bank, Raiffeisen Polbank, Nest Bank, mBank, Bank Pekao and Getin Bank. According to local Apple blog Think Apple, Poland's largest bank, PKO BP, and other smaller institutions are expected to integrate Apple Pay in September.
Beyond supporting banks, Apple's website fails to provide a breakdown of retail stores that accept the payments platform. The company typically gathers a short catalog of large vendors and popular regional chains in a bid to goose adoption, though such a list was not made immediately available for Poland.
Rumors of a Polish launch first surfaced in December, with reports at the time claiming a handful of banks had agreed to enter negotiations with Apple ahead of an expected go live date in March. In May, CEO Tim Cook during a quarterly earnings conference call teased a Polish debut, saying Apple Pay would soon expand operations to cover the country and its neighbors Norway and Ukraine.
Apple Pay launched in the U.S. in 2014 and has since expanded to a number of countries around the world, including major markets like Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia and the U.K. With today's availability, the product is available to iPhone, Apple Watch and Mac users in 23 territories.
Norway is next on the list of expected rollouts, though a firm launch date has yet to be announced.