Apple Pay Coming To Spain With Banco Santander

This past summer, Apple announced its aspirations to expand Apple Pay into Spain, and now, that vision is coming to fruition with Apple launching its mobile pay service in the country.

According to a report, on Thursday (Dec. 1), Apple Pay will be rolled out to customers of Banco Santander. At a later date, other banks in Spain are expected to support Apple Pay as well. As it stands, Apple Pay is available in 12 countries. Spain is the last of the countries Apple said it would expand Apple Pay to this year, noted the report.

Earlier in the summer, Apple Pay’s international expansion hit some bumps along the way as it suffered from a mixture of technical difficulties, tepid consumer interest and bank resistance. Take its rollout in Australia, for one example. At the end of June, the three largest banks in Australia — National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp — partnered up to lodge an antitrust application with regulators in an attempt to collectively negotiate with Apple over whether or not their own in-house electronic payments apps can be set up to run properly on an iPhone.

Currently, Apple does not allow for third-party electronic payments apps on the iPhone to make use of the NFC technology that comes in all models after the 6. The three Australian banks argue that, because Apple allows other apps on iPhones to access technological features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, restricting the technology through which mobile wallets function, known as near-field communication, constitutes anticompetitive behavior.

The filing represents the latest in a long-running struggle between Apple and various FIs down under, as banks are hesitant to surrender their customers to Apple Pay merely because their iPhones won’t give those same customers access to the apps banks have dedicated time and treasure to building out in-house.