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Bringing Apple Pay to the region and forever changing the way we pay for things

It’s been nearly six years since the debut of Apple Pay. It was introduced by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook at the company’s iPhone 6 event, in September of 2014, and lauded as an innovation that will change the way we pay for things forever.

Since then, the adoption of contactless payments hasn’t been as quick and revolutionary as some were predicting. However, mobile wallets and digital payments are constantly gaining ground and reaching more and more customers, as people are getting used to security, convenience, monitoring options and other benefits of mobile payments.

Apple Pay is forever changing the way we pay for things.

Tim Cook, Apple CEO

Globally, more than 5.19 billion people now use mobile phones which account for more than half of all the time we spend online, The Digital 2020 Global Overview Report states that the number of people who make digitally enabled payment transactions amounts to 3,76 billion, while the total annual value of digitally enabled consumer payments equals 4,14 trillion dollars. Among mobile payment providers, Apple Pay is one of the most prominent in the world, with over 383 million users worldwide and 90% of global NFC payments made with it.

The Customer at the Heart of Everything

Apple cofounder Steve Jobs had a knack for guessing what people would want before they knew they wanted it. This is one of the reasons why Apple continues to be one of the most valuable brands in the world. Apple’s devices are beautiful to look at and a pleasure to use, while giving the consumers sense of luxury and exclusivity. But Apple’s popularity goes beyond mere aesthetics of its products. It is a brand name which ensures quality and innovation, and furthermore puts the customer at the heart of everything it does.

The same goes for Apple Pay. The creators asked themselves, what do the consumers want? It certainly wasn’t paying with the outdated and vulnerable plastic, they concluded, and so Apple Pay was born. Digital wallets have been around for some time by then, but not until the launch of Apple Pay did they gain more traction.

Security in its Core

Besides being easy and intuitive to use, Apple Pay preserves consumer’s privacy, and enhances their financial security. It uses a device-specific number and unique transaction code, so the card number is never stored on the device or on Apple servers. When consumer pays, their card numbers are never shared by Apple with merchants, i.e. the store gets no data whatsoever about people who use Apple Pay.

Additionally, it uses biometric verification (Face ID or Touch ID) to secure the transaction process, and since the card number cannot be jotted down, scanned, or skimmed, the whole thing is prettey useles for criminals.

Regional Roll-out

The service initially supported US-issued payment cards only, and an international roll-out began a year later with support for UK-issued payment cards, and two years later with fifteen major banks in China. In 2019, Apple Pay finally comes to the regionCroatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia – with no small part played by our company.

Our role in introducing the service was in the security part, facilitating the Visa Token Service. It is one of our key strengths that has been recognized regionally, if not globally, and now has passed the Apple tests. Being part of this project was a great achievement for our company and a valuable experience to the team that worked on it.

With this implementation, Mercury Processing Services International again excelled in its role of Visa Token Service facilitator, thus enriching the European market with yet another digital giants’ wallet. I am very proud that I was a part of the awesome team who enabled our partners effectively introduce Apple Pay to its customers. This service confirmed technological leadership in digital services both for us and our partners

Ladislav Grgac, Senior Business Consultant, Mercury Processing Services International

Thanks to the efforts of our team that worked on Apple Pay facilitation, and the collaboration with our clients, Visa and Apple, we became the first processor to make it available for the region.

It is a great feeling to be the ones who helped bring Apple Pay to the region. In a sense, we are changing the payment ecosystem in Europe for the better and we are improving the lives of our clients’ end-users.

Jelena Kolega, Head of New Solution Design, Mercury Processing Services International

After facilitating Google Pay, our work on Apple Pay is no mean feat by any means. It is certainly one of the reasons why we are continuously considered one of the top 5 Croatian IT companies and why the newspapers are calling us one of the most interesting fintech innovators in Europe.

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