Apple pushed to drop transaction fees from Apple Pay

Apple faced pressure from credit card companies to drop transaction fees on its Apple Pay mobile payment service, as separate reports indicated the company is gearing up to launch the service in the UK within two months.

Credit card issuers are banking on a change in Apple's policy after Google revealed it won't make any money from transaction fees on its rival Android Pay mobile payment service, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Apple's early mover advantage over its rival means it negotiated transaction fees of 0.15 per cent of the value of credit card payments, and $0.50 (€0.44) on debit cards. Google, in contrast, is negotiating its deals after credit card companies Visa and MasterCard made a key card security service free, effectively barring it from charging fees, the Journal explained.

Senior banking executives told the Journal they would use Google's lack of fees to press Apple to amend its existing arrangements--a move analysts said could lead to a standoff between banks and the U.S. software company.

Apple appears undeterred; a separate report by the UK's Telegraph tipped the company to today announce plans to expand Apple Pay into the UK over the summer months, in what the newspaper called a "major development" for the payments market.

The U.S. company will use its annual developer conference, which opens today in San Francisco, to announce the move, the Telegraph reported, adding that credit card provider MasterCard expressed support for the move.

Meanwhile, rival Samsung signalled that it has not abandoned plans to launch its own mobile payment service, despite delaying its introduction.

The South Korean company is gearing up to offer mobile payments via a smart watch that it plans to launch in the back half of the year, Reuters reported citing South Korean press. The first deployments of Samsung's payment service are set to take place in July, the news agency added.

For more:
- see this Wall Street Journal report
- view this Telegraph article
- see this Reuters report

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O2 UK buys mobile payments venture Weve from Vodafone UK and EE
Oxygen8 research reveals strong demand for mobile payments in UK
Vodafone adds card payments to its NFC wallet
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