Apple Pay officially launched in Israel six days ago, according to The Verizer. Several media reports have suggested that Apple Pay will launch in Israel sometime this year, though no one knows exactly when.
Since its launch in the US in 2014, Apple Pay has slowly expanded to more countries and regions around the world, as well as to the list of financial institutions that support it.
With Apple Pay, users can easily add their supported bank credit or debit cards to their iPhone and Apple Watch to make purchases at contactless payment terminals around the world. Of course, Apple Pay can also be used to make online purchases on Apple computers.
Apple has been negotiating with financial institutions in the Middle East since February to bring Apple Pay to Israel. Apple typically collects commissions from national banking institutions in exchange for the right to use Apple Pay, and Isracard appears to be the first credit card company in the country to reach a deal with Apple.
Many Israeli businesses have adopted the Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) standards for mobile phones, which allow customer account credentials to be loaded directly onto NFC-enabled smartphones and used for contactless transactions.
Unlike Android devices, Apple devices do not allow access to NFC chips through apps other than Apple’s own wallet app, which means that financial institutions must sign an “Apple Pay” agreement that allows the card to be registered in Wallet.
With Apple Pay now officially launching in Israel, it looks like the issue has been dealt with properly.