Apple Pay finally launched in Japan on October 24, and ran into some serious problems. It was not able to connect with the mobile payment system that serves Tokyo’s train stations.
That was a real embarrassment in a country; where most people commute by train. Train-fare is one of the few items that Japanese are willing to buy with electronic payments. Many of them use contact less electronic payment cards to get on the train, but refuse to use credit cards at the store.
The train snafu is a major problem for Apple because the established contact less payment system on Japanese trains; Mobile Suica, works very well. Users were reportedly griping about it on Twitter later in the day.
Nor is it just railroads Apple is having trouble with in Japan. A number of major credit cards are excluded from its’ Japanese system, Bloomberg reported. The cards excluded include American Express (NYSE: AXP); which supports Apple Pay in the US and Canada.
Any Apple Pay glitches would be a major embarrassment for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) which has been pushing Apple heavily in Japan. Tim Cook was in the country earlier this month; to promote Apple Pay. Apple is trying to roll the service out in more countries because it has not been widely accepted in the United States.
Apple Pay used to Buy $1 million Austin Martin
Apple Pay is not a hit in Japan but it is very popular in the UK. Somebody used it to buy an Austin Martin DB5 – the James Bond car – for $1 million (£820,000) at the Coys of Kensington auction house.
The unidentified buyer used Apple Pay because he did not want to lose his dream car, Coys’ Chief Executive Chris Routledge told Digital Trends. If this does not prove how versatile and secure Apple Pay is nothing will.
The car was also sold over social media another first. Online sales of high end items is a growing trend; web auctioneer eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) is launching eBay Collective which specializes in the selling of big-ticket items. Hopefully, eBay will be smart enough to add Apple Pay to that service.
Apple needs to find ways to duplicate its British success story in other countries and soon. A good way to do that will be to get more luxury retailers to start taking Apple Pay.
One country where Apple Pay is not yet available in is Germany, rumours that the App was about to launch in the Federal Republic have been proven false. An Apple Pay service area map published on Apple’s website that showed Germany as covered has vanished. There is no word on when or if Apple Pay will come to Germany, i Lounge reported.