Apple Pay is now available in Argentina and Peru, and thus expands its presence in Latin America. Apple payments service now appears operational in both countrieswhere users can link their cards to make contactless payments with their iPhone or Apple Watch.
In this way, the Argentine and Peruvian markets join Brazil and Colombia, which were the countries that already supported Apple Pay in the region. The expectation is also about when the promised landing in Chile will take place, which for the moment continues without a defined date.
In the case of Argentina, the service of the Californian firm is currently limited to six banks: ICBC, BBVA, Brubank, Banco Macro, Banco Galicia and Banco Patagonia. The novelty is that it will also be compatible with wala, which offers a virtual wallet with a prepaid MasterCard card and has more than 4 million users in the country, as well as a presence in Colombia and Mexico. The latter was confirmed by Pierpaolo Barbieri, CEO of the fintech Argentina.
While in Peru, Apple Pay will arrive with support for five institutions: Interbank, Credit Bank of Peru, BBVA, Scotiabank and Rappi Bank. In any case, it is probable that in both countries more banking entities will be added as time goes by.
Let us remember that the first signs of the arrival of Apple Pay to more users in South America appeared in the middle of last January. At that time, the website of the payment platform for Latin America promised its prompt launch in the aforementioned territories, but without providing further details on dates. In fact, in Peru, Interbank had anticipated the official announcement and had published videos with guides on how to link their VISA cards to the walletwhich he then had to remove.
Apple Pay bets on a greater reach in Latin America
Undoubtedly, the arrival of Apple Pay in Argentina and Peru is great news because it occurs at the time of greatest popularity of payments contactless. In any case, it is still striking that Apple has preferred to settle first in the Argentine market than in other countries where its products may have a greater arrival among the public.
Let’s keep in mind that, until 2021, the iPhone accounted for just 7% of the smartphone market share in Argentina. This is because the Cupertino firm does not have a direct presence in the country —although there are a handful of resellers authorized — and their products are very expensive. For better understanding, an iPhone 13 Pro Max with 512 GB of storage is sold for about 540 thousand pesos, which is equivalent to just over 4,500 euros at the official exchange rate.
Thus, it is difficult to think that Apple Pay will have a very considerable initial impact in this country. However, it is also a reality that Argentina has an ecosystem fintech very developed and QR codes are currently the most popular contactless payment method, with an even greater push since interoperability between the different virtual wallets that exist was decreed.
And although the apple service uses the NFC chip in its devices to work, the rumor that it will incorporate support for QR payments has existed for almost two years. So it would not be unusual for Apple to take advantage of the formal arrival of Apple Pay in Argentine territory. to continue exploring this possibility and putting it into operation.
Chile is still in limbo
In the meantime, Chile is still waiting for the final arrival of Apple Pay. The service briefly worked in that country in September 2021, but without an official announcement in between. Some users had been able to configure the service with Banco de Chile cards, but their use was really fleeting.
Since then, the payment platform developed in Cupertino has been eagerly awaited in this market, although at the moment there are still no news. The truth is that, with the formal debut in Argentina and Peru, Apple Pay is now available in 68 countries.