Apple Pay adds support for Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken in Germany

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Apple this week expanded availability of Apple Pay to include Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken, a German banking collective that falls under the National Association of German Cooperative Banks (BVR) umbrella.

As of Tuesday, customers of Volks- and Raffeisenbanken institutions can provision bank-issued Visa and Mastercard credit cards with Apple Pay, reports The BVR announced the new capability in a tweet.

The banking cooperative, which includes DZ Bank, Fiducia & GAD, VR Payment and DG Verlag, was initially scheduled to roll out support in 2019. It is unclear why BVR delayed rollout into 2020.

With Volks- and Raffeisenbanken on board, nearly all major German banks are in the Apple Pay fold, though Postbank, Targobank and Santander remain notable holdouts.

Apple's mobile payments service debuted in Germany in late 2018 with support from Comdirect, Deutsche Bank, Fidor Bank, Hanseatic Bank, HypoVereinsbank and prepaid service Edenred. Mobile banking services Boon, Bunq, N26, o2, Square and VIMpay were also added at that time, while credit card companies American Express, MasterCard and Visa offered limited integration.

Germany was a latecomer to Apple's payments party. Similar to other countries like Australia, local banks pushed back against adoption due in large part to Apple's per-transaction fees. In addition to financial institutions, the German government has pressured big tech companies like Apple to open their secure NFC hardware stacks to rival payments systems in a bid to foster competition.

Apple Pay is now available in nearly 60 countries around the world.


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