Apple Pay to move into four new markets, but other updates vague

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Apple Pay will make its debut in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates before the end of the year, the company revealed during its third-quarter earnings call.

The expansion follows Apple's move into Ireland and Taiwan during the previous quarter. With these additions, the company's mobile wallet will be available in 19 markets.

In the same manner as before, Apple executives praised Apple Pay's growth on Tuesday's call but did not reveal specific numbers for adoption or transactions.

But chief financial officer Luca Maestri did say Apple Pay was in the forefront of Near Field Communication contactless payments, revealing the mobile wallet "is by far the No. 1 NFC payment service on mobile devices, with nearly 90% of transactions globally."

Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay each support NFC, and Samsung also has a system for simulating a card swipe on non-NFC terminals. Other mobile wallets on Android handsets typically use Host Card Emulation for contactless payments without access to the secure element.

“Momentum is strongest in international markets, where the infrastructure for mobile payments has developed faster than in the U.S.," Maestri added.

Three out of four Apple Pay transactions happen outside the U.S., and with the launch of iOS 11 this fall, consumers in the U.S. will be able to "make and receive person-to-person payments quickly, easily, and securely,” Maestri said. At its June developer conference, Apple revealed it would use iMessage to power its P-to-P payments through Apple Pay with the iOS 11 launch.

CEO Tim Cook did not provide any details regarding this year's expected update to the iPhone or how it would affect Apple Pay, though several reports interpret Apple's fourth-quarter revenue forecast — and tradition — to indicate Apple will start selling one or more new iPhone models by yearend.

In that regard, there was no confirmation or denial regarding reports last month that Apple was testing facial recognition biometrics as an authentication tool on its upcoming iPhone models.

Cook also remained secretive about the company's two-year Project Titan, which originally was the codename for its self-driving electric car. But it has since been grinding in the rumor mill as Apple's major move toward overall autonomous system technologies, an area in which Siri , Apple Pay and iMessage could certainly coexist.

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