Apple Pay aficionados may soon be able to tap, tap on their smartphones and pay in Europe.
Visa Europe announced today that it is unveiling a new payment technology that allows credit card payments to be processed by a retailer without disclosing specific credit card data. The “tokenisation” service uses a series of numbers, not credit card numbers, to verify a payment, according to a statement released by the London-based payment processing company today.
The introduction of this mobile payment technology to Europe paves the way for Apple to bring its popular, touch Apple Pay system across the Atlantic. Thus far, ApplePay has only been available in the U.S.
Apple did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on its plans to expand Apple Pay.
Visa Europe said the launch of tokisation technology was indeed a catalyst for mobile payment technology becoming more mainstream in Europe. “This is an exciting time to be in the payment industry. We believe that 2015 will be the year that mobile payments will be in the hands of consumers across Europe,” said Sandra Alzetta, an executive director of products for Visa Europe, in the statement.
Visa Europe is partnered with the U.S. credit card megaloth Visa, but it operates independently.
The benefit of a mobile payment system like Apple Pay or one of its rivals, beyond the convenience of not having to fumble for a your wallet and credit card in your handbag or pocket, is safety. With the tokenisation technology, a consumer’s credit card information is never shared with the merchant during a payment.
With Apple Pay specifically, a Device Account Number is generated for each customer and encrypted and stored on a chip in your mobile device. The credit card numbers, therefore, are not ever even stored on the Apple servers.Related: Apple Opens its App Store to 4.5 Billion Chinese Credit Cards