Apple Pay Takes Aim at Sweden

October 20, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Well, well, look who joined the mobile payments party in Sweden! Apple Pay is said to be hitting the beaches at Sweden starting next week, thanks to a new connection with Nordea. Given what we already know about the Swedish mobile payments market, however, Apple Pay is likely to have a tough time here.

The current word says that Nordea is the first bank in the country to accept Apple Pay, and on October 24, there will be a joint announcement between Apple and Nordea about it. While there’s not much more information than that on hand already, the word is that the notion of a Swedish arrival has been mentioned from more than one source, so it’s a pretty safe bet this will ultimately come to pass.

Nordea is a substantial, almost conglomerate bank that formed based on a series of mergers and acquisitions throughout much of Scandinavia, and boasts over 11 million total customers. That could give Apple Pay significant advantage going forward…an advantage that it’s going to sorely need.

Sweden is quite possibly the most advanced market for mobile payments in all of Europe. By some figures, it might be the most advanced market for mobile payments on Earth. Not so long ago we got word positing that Sweden might end up completely cashless by 2023, sticking to alternatives like mobile payments and credit cards instead.

Interestingly, that cashless society projection suggested that it would be heavily credit-card-based, rather than built around mobile payments. Given that only 20 percent of transactions in the country involve cash, it might look like a good opportunity for Apple to step in. The problem is that the Swedes appear to mostly have their preferences in place, and for the most part, it doesn’t involve mobile payments.

Sure, Apple may be able to land some of Nordea’s business for its own, but at this stage of the game, Apple may have shown up too late to the party to really get in on the market action. Only time will tell just how well this works for Apple, but this might be a market denied even Apple before it can really start.