Apple Pay Coming to Saudi Arabia, is Apple Pay Cash in Europe?

Apple Pay; without Apple Pay Cash, is reportedly coming to Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Apple Pay Cash could be rolled out in Europe.

The Saudi Payment Network; or MADA, announced will roll Apple Pay out soon in the Kingdom, Asharq Al-Awsat reports. If that is true, Saudi businesses and banks will accept Apple Pay.

The announcement is probably official because MADA operates under the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). Notably, SAMA is Saudi Arabia’s central bank.

Adopting Apple Pay is apparently part of SAMA’s effort to modernize Saudi Arabia’s financial sector. Importantly, SAMA is implementing a unified digital payments strategy for Saudi Arabia.

Apple Pay is coming to the Moslem World

Interestingly, MADA is already supporting Google Pay, Asharq Al-Awsat claims. Saudi adoption of Apple Pay is important because Saudi Arabia will be the first large Middle Eastern country to adopt the service.

Markedly, Saudi Arabia will be the first large Islamic nation to adopt Apple Pay. Availability in Saudi Arabia is great advertising for Apple Pay because of all the Moslems that visit the kingdom for the Haj every year.

Statista estimates that 2.4 million Haj pilgrims visited Mecca in 2018. Consequently, Saudi Arabia is a great place to launch Apple Pay in the Moslem world.

“Clues” point to Apple Pay Cash in Europe

Apple Pay Cash could be coming to Europe soon. “Multiple clues” point to the peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfer solution’s launch in Europe, 9 to 5 Mac claims.

For example, a French site called iPhone.fr claims Apple asked a reader to set up a card for use with Apple Pay Cash. Additionally, Apple Zombies in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Italy are making such claims.

In addition, bloggers claims to have spotted instructions for using Apple Pay Cash on the Apple website. Notably, we heard similar claims Brazil, Ireland and Spain earlier this year, but Apple Pay Cash never materialized in those nations..

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is obviously trying to beat rival PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) to the European market. For instance, PayPal’s Venmo is currently only available in the United States.

Moreover, Apple is probably trying to counter rival digital wallets like Alipay and products like Vodafone’s Mpesa. To explain, Mpesa is an unencrypted digital currency that functions as a money transfer service. Uniquely, Mpesa is a widely used payment solution in countries like Kenya.

Beyond Mpesa, Apple is trying to get Apple Pay rolled out before cryptocurrency money transfer solutions like Ripple (XRP) come online. Specifically Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN) is testing Ripple payments via MoneyTap.

Does Apple Pay Outrank Other Wallets?

A fake news story that claims Apple Pay is more widely used than other digital wallets is making the rounds.

Auriema Consulting Group claims most digital card transactions are on Apple Pay, Digital Transactions “reports.” That story is false because Auriema only compared Apple Pay to Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

Notably, Auriema deliberately ignored PayPal which is America’s most popular digital wallet. To demonstrate, Statista reports there were 244 million PayPal accounts in 2nd Quarter 2018.

Unfortunately, Apple refuses to make Apple Pay usage figures publics. Therefore, it is impossible to tell how many people use Apple Pay.

However, analyst Gene Munster of Loup Ventures estimates that around 15% of American iPhone users use Apple Pay. Tellingly, Munster told 9to5 Mac that Apple Pay usage is higher oversees.

Sorry Apple Zombies WeChat Pay is the number One Payment Solution

It appears fake statistics fooled the Apple Zombie press again. In reality, Apple Pay is far from the world’s most popular payment solutions.

The most widely used payment solution is WeChat Pay owned by Tencent Holdings (OTCMKTS: TCEHY). For example, Statista estimates there were 1.04 billion WeChat Pay users in 1st Quarter 2018.

Apple Pay is certainly handy, but it is far from the most popular payment solution. I predict Apple Pay will only be a niche payment solution.