It's designed to work only in the United States, but a clever user has figured out a way to get Apple Pay to pay for goods in other countries by using a U.S. credit card and changing the iPhone's location status to the U.S. Apple officially launched Apple Pay earlier this week via its iOS 8.1 update.
A video posted Tuesday by blog site TechSmartt presented a demonstration of how to set up Apple Pay to support countries beyond the U.S. The person who uploaded the video is from Canada, but after some research and experimenting the individual was able to get Apple Pay to work in his country.
How can this happen? On reason is because Apple chose to integrate with existing NFC-based tap-to-pay systems available on the market instead of developing its own wireless standard. The NFC (near-field communication) mobile payment infrastructure being used is also compatible with the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) standard for chip cards.
According to Apple, the new mobile payments system lets iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users pay for products at retailers with NFC terminals. Apple said there are about 220,000 retailers and restaurants with such terminals in the U.S.
Step by Step
First, only the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus work because only the new models contain the NFC tech needed to communicate with NFC terminals. Paying for items via Apple Pay also requires you to enter your credit or debit card information into the phone. Here's how the Canadian user did it.
You need to use a credit or debit card that's compatible with Apple Pay, so it has to be a card issued by a bank in the U.S.
Go to the Settings screen in iOS, tap the General tab, and then change your region to the United States.
Set up Apple Pay by adding your credit or debit card number, expiration date, and security code.
Test the process by using Apple Pay to buy something at a physical store with a NFC terminal. The Canadian user was able to use Apple Pay to buy soda from a vending machine with a NFC payment symbol.
Plans To Go International?
One person commenting on TechSmartt's YouTube video said that by using this method, Apple Pay worked in the Netherlands, while another said it worked in Australia. Users in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere also said they've used Apple Pay successfully via the same steps shared by TechSmartt.
Apple has not said when people outside the U.S. might be able to use Apple Pay without relying on a U.S. credit card. But plans are apparently being made.
"We are working closely with Apple and with our member banks to bring this new service to market in Europe," Steve Perry, chief digital officer at Visa Europe, told the Financial Times earlier this month.